Grief - Not the normal kind

This is the place to post whatever questions you have related to the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. The rest of us will do whatever we can to help you achieve a better understanding :)
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wintgard43
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Grief - Not the normal kind

Post by wintgard43 » Mon Sep 07, 2020 9:44 pm

I didn't have loving parents growing up, they were very self-absorbed. Though they put food on the table and I am thankful for that, they also harmed my mental and emotional beings through countless traumas. Then, at the age of 12, I migrated to an entirely different country and experienced huge culture shocks. Well, I am 26 now, and it feels like I missed out on my childhood years, teenage years, and even college years because I was trying to figure out why I was so different than everyone around me.

I am in graduate school now. Grad school is hard, and pretty soon, I will be entering real world. I don't know how to describe what I feel right now - cheated, robbed, etc. My natural state is to focus on what I missed to get the time back, but it's obviously impossible to get the past back. And now, I am left with a heavy and sad heart, where I have to grieve not having a home, a family that loved me, a normal childhood, or teenage years. I feel like I became arrested developmentally. I never developed any relationship or even friendships for that matter. And I feel very behind socially with my grad school peers.

I listen to Eckhart and try my best to feel my breath, but the pain-body is so emotional and so strong. A big part of me goes,"well, even if I became present, what then? how will that ever help me?". I still try to listen to his talks and also read self-help books such as From Surviving to Thriving by Pete Walker. There is always a sense of loneliness in the back of my mind, a feeling that I am missing out on so much that my peers are doing these days. It's painful. I am just looking for some hope.

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smiileyjen101
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Re: Grief - Not the normal kind

Post by smiileyjen101 » Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:54 am

Hi wintgard43
I have to grieve not having a home, a family that loved me, a normal childhood, or teenage years.
Sometimes complex grief issues are best worked through with a counsellor who can explore the notions / perspectives that you've raised, but there is also value in sharing with others who've journeyed along similar paths.

I noticed you saying you migrated as a child, and that struck a chord with me. The pre-teen years are formative years for relationship building and a sense of self within a community as we grow into adulthood and find our way in the world. For some it's a seamless growth, building on friendships and finding our tribe, for others we lose our (healthy) sense of self when that growth is interrupted by circumstance.

I too was 'replanted' in an alien culture. I went home for awhile as a young adult. It was the weirdest thing to go back to my childhood home and see the great divide of 'who I am' in those two very different environments. Humans like plants and animals grow differently in different environments. I too felt like I had lost parts of myself in the move, and everyone else had moved on with their lives without me.

There can be a sense of a sliding doors (from the movie of that name) existence that we unconsciously invest in. If we had stayed ... if my parents had loved me more.. if... if...
we can 'dream' the life we might have had.

An important part of ET's sharing that has been immensely helpful for me, is recognising when we are moving into 'if' thinking, rather than being aware and present with the 'is'. Being aware of our breathing is only the beginning. This is where a counsellor may be helpful to guide through the grief process.

Grief, for me, is an emotional time of reconciling the what ifs with the what is, whether amid trauma, tragedy, or simple disappointment. There is a distance between expectation (if only, what if / should / shouldn't) and reality (what is) - and if you look at each of your statements you will be able to see the core points of them.

They're usually the things with 'should' or 'shouldn't' or 'too little/too much' judgements around them. They evoke the emotions of grief, shock, denial, sadness, anger, bargaining etc. What brings them back into balance whether we are conscious of it or not, is a journey from expectation to reality - reconciling elements along the way.

As ET says, when we are making enemy, obstacle, or means to an end of things, situations or people, if we (wake up and) look around we will see that we are the ones creating a sense of suffering for ourselves, and for those around us. (What? Who? Me? ;))

The beauty of understanding this fully, is that it gives us the power to widen our perspective and reconcile differences that are causing our suffering. We move into either changing that which we (realistically) can, or accepting that it cannot be changed and moving forward in loving honesty.

It's true you cannot recapture that which is past. You cannot change that which has already happened, and, it's not our place to judge the path of others. So then what? What do we do with these emotions?

Reconciliation: the process of making two opposite beliefs, ideas, or situations agree.

Life involves a series of reconciliations, in small things we do it all the time often without realising it. A thing you bought is not what you thought it was, or does not do for you what you thought it would. A bus that does not keep to the timetable you 'expect' it to. When our standards are not met either by our self, or when relating or interacting with others.

The stronger the attachment to the expectation, and/or the further the distance between it and reality, the longer or more pronounced the journey of reconciliation - and the experience of the emotions of grief.
the pain-body is so emotional and so strong. A big part of me goes,"well, even if I became present, what then? how will that ever help me?"
ET does give us his wisdom on this in his book A New Earth, in the conscious modalities part about acceptance, enjoyment, enthusiasm. It's my favourite part because it is the 'what then?'
or rather how will my 'now' be different.

What presence does is allow you to consciously choose acceptance, enjoyment and enthusiasm instead. It's a different existence and experience of life.

It brings love - the equilibrium of gratitude and generosity* to the fore. It allows us to see what is, to be with what is, to appreciate what is in ways we may never have been aware or capable of before. It doesn't mean those emotions won't arise again, or that disappointments will not happen in our lives, but when they do we can experience them differently, consciously, recognise they are signalling an imbalance, and allow us to recognise and reconcile the various elements of them back into harmony.

It replace fear and judgement with curiosity and love, it allows us to delight in the very simple, and navigate the complex with courage and compassion for self and others.

It wakens us up to choose consciously that which we hold onto, that which we acknowledge and let go.

In short, it gives us back to ourselves in our most beautiful experience and expression of who we really are. It helps us to recognise that even when we cannot change a thing, situation or person - we can choose consciously how we respond and experience.

(*what love is, from the spoken wisdoms of Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements - for me it provides a wonderful reminder)
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen

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turiya
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Re: Grief - Not the normal kind

Post by turiya » Sat Sep 12, 2020 3:07 am

smiileyjen101 wrote:
Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:54 am
What presence does is allow you to consciously choose acceptance, enjoyment and enthusiasm instead. It's a different existence and experience of life.

It brings love - the equilibrium of gratitude and generosity* to the fore. It allows us to see what is, to be with what is, to appreciate what is in ways we may never have been aware or capable of before. It doesn't mean those emotions won't arise again, or that disappointments will not happen in our lives, but when they do we can experience them differently, consciously, recognise they are signalling an imbalance, and allow us to recognise and reconcile the various elements of them back into harmony.

It replace fear and judgement with curiosity and love, it allows us to delight in the very simple, and navigate the complex with courage and compassion for self and others.

It wakens us up to choose consciously that which we hold onto, that which we acknowledge and let go.

In short, it gives us back to ourselves in our most beautiful experience and expression of who we really are. It helps us to recognise that even when we cannot change a thing, situation or person - we can choose consciously how we respond and experience.
Well said, Jen! :D
“We ourselves are not an illusory part of Reality; rather are we Reality itself illusorily conceived.” - Wei Wu Wei

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smiileyjen101
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Re: Grief - Not the normal kind

Post by smiileyjen101 » Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:06 am

Thanks Turiya <3
Our rights start deep within our humanity; they end where another's begin~~ SmileyJen

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