Welcome to the 16th issue of Inward Ventures, my weekly share of what I’m working on and fiddling around with. I share thoughts and ideas I come across in my continuing quest for self-improvement, productivity, and education for myself and my coaching clients. I strive to excel in my writing, creativity, and, well… LIFE. Thanks for being here. Ok, let’s get down to brass tacks.
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In my last post, I wrote about slaying dragon of fear how it lives inside us, along with a few other dragons like grief, maybe shame, or insecurity. There are different ones for all of us.
As soon as I sent it out, I thought, dammit, that’s not it exactly, slaying—wrong verb.
I try hard to not overthink what I’ve already sent out, but this one kept me up that night. UGH, brain!
We CAN’T slay the fear dragon because fear (and grief and shame) are emotions that are part of our human experience. These dragons live with us, whether we like it or not.
We can FACE a particular fear and dismantle its hold over us. But as we continue to live and expand, y’know, just out here, living our best lives, we’ll encounter new fears, and new dragons crop up all over again. They’ll never be slain. Like weeds in a garden, fears are inevitable.
The same goes for grief. How could I possibly SLAY that dragon? Grief isn’t anything to tackle, to get over, suppress, resist.
I had to sit with that idea. Meaning, pull my sleep mask up onto my forehead at 2 am and review this in my head, eventually getting up and heading to the couch to scribble this all down.
Grief isn’t anything to tackle.
The Grief dragon. How many times over the past 8 years did I encounter him? Facing the deaths of multiple loved ones in a compressed period of time, as well as the deaths of businesses, dreams, relationships, and identities ~ and that was all BEFORE Covid hit, with its own death by a thousand cuts.
Grief. This little misunderstood dragon seeks to be seen and be addressed; treated with respect. My experience is that if that doesn’t happen, it magnifies and multiplies into a swirling, seething presence. It becomes A DRAGON that burns inside of us until we decide to face it.
Grief doesn’t need to be attacked because, like fear, it never truly can be eliminated. It will always exist for us; it’s a reminder of someone that we loved. We can also grieve:
An identity we had to give up
a dream that’s been dashed
A relationship that’s over
A lifestyle or business we embraced that we’ve had to release
Grief. We can’t attack it, kill it, conquer it. So what do we do with it?
A goodie from last week
No, I think it is enough to see it, name it, and BE with it. Keep it company.
Yeah, that’s weird, I know, keeping it company. Don’t close your email yet! Gimme 2 more minutes.
When I can acknowledge, oh wow, Spring has become a hard season for me; that’s seeing it. My two brothers died this time of year; Gary in March and John in April. I used to love Spring.
Being a flower gardener, this used to be a period full of promise and expectation. I’ve stopped outdoor gardening completely. Spring is sadness now. (Naming it.)
Keep it company
I don’t get up and walk away to work out or look in the fridge for food that I’m not hungry for. I don’t pick up my phone to distract myself with texting or scrolling.
I sit with these f*$K-ing uncomfortable feelings and FEEL THEM. Think them through… This is a moment of suck, palms on my chest, as I realize how I’ve come to view the season. Hmmm, do I *really* think that Spring is sadness? I think about all the things I associate with Spring. My sister Sharon’s birthday 🥰 seeing robins, noticing tiny little green shoots on the lantana bush, my ready to bloom Easter Cactus 🌷, and appreciating how light the sky is during my evening dog walk.
When I sit with whatever feeling long enough, keeping it company, its intensity fades. It often shifts and transitions into something wholly different ~ like it did above. I DON’T hate Spring, and it isn’t sadness. Spring gives me pangs, both good AND bad. Missing my brothers AND seeing my cactus bloom.
All the feels
And so it goes for ALL THE FEELS. All feelings want to be acknowledged. They want us to sit with them; they can’t bear to be ignored. Ignoring them makes them worse! I think we all know this on an intellectual level; putting it into practice is simple but not easy.
What feels are you NOT feeling? Cramming them down, shoving them into a closet or under the bed, hoping they’ll disappear? Resentment or anger? Loss or grief?
How are you not feeling them? What are you doing instead? Binge-watching shows, scrolling social media, watching the Facebook drama unfold from afar, or taking part in it?
Eating your emotions? Drinking, smoking, or working out to avoid?
I’ve done them all (and more that I will hopefully NOT think of at 2 am LOL), and likely so has everyone reading this.
So that’s what I got for ya this week. Whatcha got for me?
If you need help with this, please email me or comment below, and I’ll gladly respond in more detail. As always, I promise I will do whatever I can to be there for you and to support you. HIT.ME.UP. I mean it! 🙌
Thanks for sharing and emailing; you guys are the best! Keep the mail comin’!