Like a bloom beneath winter’s shroud,
frostbitten, quiet, unbowed.
Thawing slowly beneath spring’s embrace,
healing occurs at its own pace…
Embracing Self-Kindness in the Cold of Loss
One thing I learned is that kindness towards oneself is crucial. Self-kindness is another very challenging aspect of my way through grief and loss. It might be tough because I often judge myself more harshly than I would others. I tend to set high expectations for myself, and when life becomes challenging, I tend to blame myself for not being strong enough, not moving on quickly enough, or for the circumstances that led to the loss.
I realize, I often subject myself to a sort of scrutiny, a harshness that I’d seldom inflict upon others. It is almost as if I have a reservoir of kindness within me. I willingly and happily tap into it when it comes to others, but when my own reflection stares back from the still surface, I hesitate. Instead, I fortify myself with tough armor, expecting resilience in the face of despair, chastising myself for not being impervious to the shrapnel of shattered dreams.
It’s almost as if you expect yourself to be the mighty oak standing unyielding in the face of a storm. But even the strongest trees sway in the winds, surrendering to the rhythm of nature, and therein lies their true strength. The expectation to stand tall, to not be swayed by the winds of grief, can be an unbearable weight. And the blame we cast on ourselves for the circumstances that led to the loss…that’s a jagged pill, indeed.
You see, the underbelly of grief is more than just the loss itself. It is the avalanche of self-blame, the gnawing guilt, the relentless question – Could I have done more? Could I have been more? These inner demons twist the dagger of loss, adding an extra layer of suffering to our sorrow.
In this labyrinth of loss, I’ve discovered that self-kindness is not just a choice, but a necessity, an essential lifeline. It’s that soothing balm for your raw and tender heart, that comforting blanket against the frosty winds of guilt and blame. It’s about recognizing the whispers of your own pain, giving yourself the same understanding and compassion that you would bestow upon a cherished friend.
I think of it like being lost in a snowstorm – there’s a tendency to fight against the blizzard, to push through the icy gusts with sheer force of will. But perhaps the real courage lies in hunkering down, in making a shelter, in being kind to yourself until the storm passes. Maybe, just maybe, it’s about tending to your own wounds with the gentle touch of self-love, allowing yourself to heal at your own pace, like a frostbitten bloom slowly thawing under the warm touch of spring.
Sometimes, you need to be your own hero. Sometimes, you need to extend your hand to your sinking self, offering a lifeline. But being a hero doesn’t mean being unbreakable. It means acknowledging your breaks, your pain, and cradling your own wounded hearts with tenderness. It means giving yourself permission to feel, to hurt, to heal.
Self-kindness. It’s about saying to yourself, “It’s okay, you’re doing your best. It’s okay to not have it all figured out.” It’s about understanding that it’s alright to stumble, to fall, to not know the way. It’s about shedding the armor of false resilience and embracing the power of vulnerability.
And in these moments when my inner critic rises again, I remind myself that I’m not alone in this struggle. Many others go through similar experiences, just like me. We’re all deserving of compassion, love, and support. I’ve found it’s easier to remember this when I think about how I’d treat a dear friend going through the same thing. After all, we all deserve the same kindness we readily give to others, don’t we?
So, on this road, I’ve been learning to extend the same compassion to myself that I’d offer a close friend in the same situation, I’m learning how to cradle my pain with the same tenderness that I would extend to a dear friend. It’s about realizing that the gentle touch of self-kindness, that whisper of self-love, is a key part of navigating our way through the labyrinth of loss.
In the delicate dance of healing, the tender steps of self-kindness are the rhythm of your resilience.
It’s not the frost that defines us, but the warmth we maintain despite it
The Frostbitten Bloom
(2019 © Julia Delaney)
Sometimes, it’s not about thriving in the light, but finding your light in the darkness.
(2022 © Julia Delaney)
Harmony in Motion
(2019 © Julia Delaney)
Be Alive 🌱
Love ❤️, Julia
A Journey Through Loss
GUIDED MEDITATIONS 💗
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