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

In winter’s chill, a lonely flower stands,
its petals kissed by ice, not loving hands.
It trembles under a moon so cold and bright,
alone in a frozen world, a single point of life.
The snowstorm screams, “Give up! You’ll never win!”
But a quiet voice inside says, “The battle is within.”
It finds it doesn’t have to fight the storm,
just nurture its own warmth, its own inner norm.
No more fighting gusts that can’t be tamed,
it focuses inward, and feels less ashamed.
It lets go of judgments, like falling snow,
and finds in its core, a gentle, warming glow.
Does it doubt, as the frost seals it away?
Maybe, but it also knows it’ll see a brighter day.
It thinks to itself under the night sky,
facing its struggles, not questioning why.
That inner voice, once so quick to tear apart,
is stilled by love, by an awakening heart.
A lesson emerges, simple and true,
Kindness starts within, it starts with you.
Even encased in ice, it remains free,
warmed by a love only it can see, 
When my dreams crack and tear me apart,
I think of the flower, how it found a fresh start.
I let kindness in, not as a show,
but as a first step, like a tender flower under snow.

(2019 © Julia Delaney)

The Frostbitten Bloom

Sometimes, it’s not about thriving in the light, but finding your light in the darkness.


Like a bloom kissed by the frost, 
whose vibrance, for a time, seems lost. 
Patiently it waits beneath the snow, 
for spring’s warmth to make it grow.
Sometimes, the hero we require, 
is not the one who conquers fire. 
But rather, the one who understands, 
the healing power of their own hands.
Being invincible is not the goal, 
it’s more about healing the soul. 
Acknowledging the scars we bear, 
cradling our wounds with utmost care.
Grant yourself the liberty
to grieve, 
to falter, 
to question, 
to believe. 
Like the frostbitten bloom, 
we too shall rise, 
underneath the warming skies. 
In the face of hurt, 
of fears untold, 
we learn that tender Love
is brave and bold.

(2022 © Julia Delaney)

a bloom kissed by the frost

Harmony in Motion

Walking alone in the forest, 
the sky a brilliant blue, 
I found a spot to rest, 
where an enormous oak tree grew. 
Its roots are like secrets deep 
reached into the ground, 
a sight to behold, 
silent reminder of time, 
of stories untold.
In the shade of the oak, 
I felt a gentle calm, 
a refuge from the sunlight, 
a soothing balm. 
The tree stood strong, 
yet moved with the breeze, 
a testament to balance, 
a dance of ease.
Strength, it seemed to say, 
isn’t about standing alone, 
but in moving with life, 
letting adaptability be shown. 
The oak, in all its grandeur, 
danced in the light of the day, 
part of the rhythm of life, 
in its unique way.
The oak was a song, 
sung by nature’s voice, 
each leaf a lyric, 
each season a choice. 
From its broken dreams, 
new life was born, 
a truth it held, 
a new perspective dawned.
Each fallen leaf, 
each cycle of change, 
Reflected the dance of life, 
vast and strange. 
The oak stood resilient, 
a beacon so clear, 
Its lesson a part of me, 
to always hold near.
As I left the tree, 
its outline against the setting sun, 
Its wisdom was with me, 
a new understanding won. 
Under the vast branches of the oak, 
in the heart of the green, 
I found a part of myself, 
in the quiet beauty of the scene.

(2019 © Julia Delaney)

In the shade of the oak

Be Alive 🌱
Love ❤️, Julia

Healing through Loss


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