Grief Healing Tip #8: Capture Moments of Joy

grief healing tipThe human heart doesn’t function like an office floor layout where separate cubicles house different people. The human heart houses a variety of emotions: anger, sadness, joy, fear, elation, excitement…

When we’re in the midst of deep grief, we’re often waiting for it to be over. And we put off things that may help us feel better for when we feel better. It’s almost backwards.

When I feel better, I’ll start to eat right and exercise.
When I’m done grieving, I’ll take the new course I’ve been wanting to take.

Life during loss is not an unending gray palette. If you open yourself up, you let in an occasional flash of scarlet, a fleeting moment of orange, then a dull metallic gray overshadows everything before a quick rush of turquoise quickens your heart again.

Quick fleeting moments of joy interweave through the long desperation of loss.

Sunshine on your skin.
A baby’s gurgles.
A spectacular peach-and-gold sunset.
A hot cup of cocoa.

It’s all happening, right alongside the loneliness of loss, the burden of a broken heart.

When we’re present to these small moments that grace our day, the weight of grief becomes bearable. Slowly but surely, the moments of joy lengthen and we begin to breathe easier.

The trick is to notice, and capture these moments when they happen. And to take them deep into your heart where you can store them and savor their warmth. Again and again.  

Take Action Now:

1. Make a commitment today to be more present to the moments of joy in your life.
2. Notice when something kind or beautiful or restful shows up in your life experience.
3. When it does, close your eyes for a brief moment and breathe it in. You do this to make an imprint of the experience on your heart.
4. Express gratitude. Say “thank you” out loud or silently for the brief respite from non-stop sadness.
5. Make this a habit and you’ll see how the joys multiply sooner than you expected.

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