What can be found in pain?
Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Sairey Luterman who is a certified Thanatologist and Grief Counselor. (In case you are wondering, Thanatology is the study of death in life).
It was a fascinating conversation all around but there was one story she shared that spoke to me above all of the others:
“When I first started working as a grief counselor, I had an experience where I was doing some group work. And there was a particularly animated child in the group really struggling. Sometimes, all that activity means that they’re struggling with a feeling and not having words for it. This young person was very active in group and really uncomfortable and it was one of my first groups. At the end of our meeting, when the kids transitioned to another room, this child was the last child out the door and I was the last adult out the door and he turned off the lights and slammed the door and locked it. I was in a dark room by myself…and terrified.”
As Sairey explains, what came out of this experience was a profound recognition that this child was trying to reveal their world to her by approximating how they were feeling inside. The metaphor could not be more effective in its raw vulnerability and power; locked in a dark room, alone, terrified and seemingly helpless.
It is amazing how accurately our actions and behavior reflect our state of mind in the moment —whether consciously or unconsciously.
As adults, we are not exempt.
There are times in our lives where we struggle to recognize the truth of our own pain or fail to find the words to articulate and release it…and so we simply do what makes sense at the time —lash out at a partner, eat an entire carton of cookies, cry in bed for a week…each action simply reflects our state of mind and moves to behave in a way that makes sense to us at the time.
So, if you are struggling or feeling the loss of someone or something…
Be easy on yourself…and others.
Be patient with yourself…and others.
And be open to what can unfold with time.
More often than not, the gifts and lessons of life are held like a precious jewel within the heart of our pain.
If you’d like to listen to the full interview, you can do so on the link below for Wise Women Speak