Connecting to the wonder we are, Discovering Strength, Healing

It’s Okay to Cry, Really It Is

Why do people cry?

“Maybe emotion becomes so intense your body just can’t contain it; your mind and your feelings become too powerful and your body weeps.”–City of Angels

Have you ever cried so hard that your tears weep from the depths of your soul?

I have.  Recently…

About a month ago, I had something difficult and unexpected happen in my life. Something I wasn’t particularly prepared for, but knew could happen. And when it did, and I understood that the experience was real, I began to cry. The kind of cry where you full-out weep, with your hands over your face. And tears like raindrops creating puddles and waterfalls cascading over your hands onto the floor. The kind of tears that run down your face with trails of black mascara. The kind of cry that makes your cheeks and eyes turn red. The kind of cry that weeps deep down from the pit of your soul.  The kind of cry that leaves you feeling numb when you are done.

For a few days the tears just kept coming whenever they felt like it: washing dishes, combing my hair, hugging my husband, petting my cat… I stopped here and there wiped my nose, caught my breath, and sat quietly too.I got a break every once in a while, however, where I could feel quiet and calm.  And regain some sense of myself. And day by day it got a bit easier and the tears got a bit less…

Tears and crying are a part of our creation; they are a part of our human design; i.e., they are a part of life. We hear of people weeping in stories, we watch it happen on TV, and we also weep. Tears have a purpose in our creation. Something changes in us when we cry. So I ask, What changes within you when you cry?

  • For me I realize over and over it’s like the quote at the begining from City of Angels: allowing ourselves to cry allows the deep pain within our bodies to be released. Crying allows your mind, body and spirit  to release the pain, the anger, the grief, the anxiety, and the fear. And we are changed by this release.

Are you one to cry and let out your grief? Is it a comfortable release or something you avoid?

We each make meaning out of our emotions and others emotions differently.  Tears, and crying can mean very different things to each of us. Thus, we all have different comfort levels with grief, and especially grief that is outward, such as tears. Tears can be a very natural and comfortable release for some of us, and for others of us, tears can be very uncomfortable and try to be avoided.  How we make meaning out of our expression of emotions effects our journey of healing.

When I worked in the hospitals and visited patients, sometimes we would have a deep conversation that opened itself to the person needing to release their suffering through tears, and yet s/he would stop himself/herself  from  crying because s/he saw tears as a sign of weakness. I would encourage him/her to let out the tears, but often the person was unable because s/he wanted to be strong.

I believe tears, are a great source of healing for us. And thus, allowing ourselves to cry makes us stronger because when you cry you make space within your mind, body and spirit for healing to happen. Instead of holding in anxiety, grief, anger, fear which weaken us and can make us ill, your body is being given permission to heal because you are “letting go” of these feelings.

So my answer to my question, What changes within you when you cry? is:

CRYING allows You to BEGIN to HEAL.

So even if you haven’t been one to cry,  or even if you are one to cry..

Remember, sometimes it is good to cry and let grief have its way. Your tears allow you to release pain, sorrow, and disappointment, in a very bodily, and emotional way. And allowing yourself to cry makes room for healing and hope.

May you allow yourself to grieve when you need to, and to open yourself to hope and healing, as you go through the process.

And most importantly as you grieve:

Be gentle with yourself, you are a marvelous creation, even your tears are a part of the wonder you are.

It's Okay to Cry Quote

There is a Divine LOVE ready to embrace you.

Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue

© 2013. Bella Bleue Healing™ All Rights Reserved.
Please also visit my photography site: Photography by Bella Bleue.

See my Facebook page for daily inspirations and messages.

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Discovering Strength, Healing

Loving the Best We Can: Living through Tragedy.

Yesterday, afternoon, my son and I were visiting a friend and her daughter. The children played and we talked about the challenges of being parents, and how hard Life can be when we love our children so deeply. We had no idea about anything that was happening in Newtown, CT, as we discussed the challenges of life. Life was happening right where we were, and yet LIFE was also happening only a couple hours away from our home.

As we went about our visit, we engaged our children, resolving conflicts and teaching them how to acknowledge each other’s feelings, especially when they hurt the other child’s feelings. Sometimes the children  freely went up to the other to say I’m sorry, other times they resisted feeling they had a right to defend themselves. And yet, through it all we offered them our LOVE, in the very best way we knew how…accepting and receiving both children as beloved, beautiful, and whole…we affirmed them, redirected them, challenged them, we mirrored empathy and compassion for the other, as well as for self.   Both my friend and I, acted out of LOVE for our children, and for each other’s child as Sacred, Beautiful, and Whole.

After we said our good-byes my son and I got into our car, and turned on the radio, and then we began to hear The News. But none of the radio stations mentioned what had happened. It was as though, God, was watching over me as a mom, to not know what happened as I drove,  because when I took a moment to cook dinner and go on my phone to check the web, I began to sob, and the sounds of the cook vent drowned out my tears, as my son played on the floor with his cars in the other room. I would have probably had to pull off the road if I had been driving, and how would I tell my 3 year old son why mommy was crying?

Our hearts ache as parents, as people who love, as people who are deeply good. Every day, we Live, we have to work at Life. There is something about encountering the Sacred innocence of children in pain, that breaks at our souls. Its a deep hallow grief that goes to our core. This pain we feel, says something about who we are as we have been created: We were not made to be so broken. We were not made to ache the way we do. Our created selves were made to be whole, to be filled with love.

So I ask myself, deeply, as a parent, a mother, a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, am I loving the right way? As I engaged my child and lead him in conflict resolution, and learning to accept and love the other even when your feelings have been hurt, I wonder, am I teaching him LOVE? I hope and pray that I am every day of my life.

What happened in Newtown wasn’t just about one person, it is about all of us. It’s about our culture that glorifies violence, and death. We hush our voices when we talk about God, and so often we give up on trying to learn how to Love the other, because it’s too hard or he or she doesn’t complement us the way we feel they should, so we give up and fill ourselves with emptiness or loneliness instead.

Life goes on around us all the time. We may not be in the middle of the chaos, or we might be right in the center of Ground Zero; where ever we are Life is happening. We have a choice each day, how we are going to offer our love to our children, our spouses, our friends, and neighbors. We have a choice to stop and pause, no matter how busy our days are, and let someone else know, “I SEE YOU. I AM TOTALLY PRESENT TO YOU: TO LISTEN TO YOU, TO LOVE YOU, TO HEAR WHAT YOU HAVE TO SAY BOTH IN YOUR WORDS, AND IN THE EMOTIONS OF YOUR BODY.”  We also have a choice to let God, Spirit, Love, into our lives more, so that we don’t have to do all this hard work alone. For we have a Creator who desperately wants to be a part of our lives, and to carry our burdens for us. But so often we don’t want the help, or we are too lost to ask for help, because so many of us are just too busy to notice when someone is hurting or we turn away.

So today, and every day, remember to take the time to LOVE. It will be the greatest gift you can ever give, and ever receive. And keep trying, Keep Loving the Best you can every day, for you, and for all those you cross paths with.

May God, ease the pain of the brokenhearted, and enter our lives, to teach us more deeply about LOVE.

Tell and show those you meet along your walk in life & Tell and show yourself:

You are Loved Quote

May you be blessed by Love, Erin, Bella Bleue
©Bella Bleue Healing
™ All Rights Reserved.
Please Visit my Photography blog: Photography by Bella Bleue

Discovering Strength, Life

A Prayer for Healing Your Sorrow During A Tragedy

When tragedy finds its way into our lives, we need to mourn, and to reconnect to LOVE.

In the midst of sorrow

I breathe,
I take a breath,
I open myself
and receive gratitude that moves within me
for Life,
Life that I live,
for all Life

I breathe
trusting in the ability for redemption
for a newness
a gentle awakening,
that surfaces within me,
and within the deeper parts of individual souls,

believing,
having faith,
that LOVE is
still the greater force,
that prayer is heard and answered
that no one is truly alone in this world,
and that healing is always possible
even when brokenness seems to be king.

For it is in breathing in
this faith,

this trust in LOVE:
that what is good will conquer,
and that when there is pain,
that the LOVE and prayers of many
will be the powerful force, and energy
throughout Life
that transforms hurt into healing
always,
every time,
somehow.

 

Grief and healing are an every day journey…there is no set date and time that they have to be completed. Take all the time you need.

Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue
©Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life™ All Rights Reserved.

 

Connecting to the wonder we are, Life

When Love Hurts: Keep on Loving and Living Anyway

It’s inevitable that love and pain will dance together in our lives, no matter how hard we try to keep them apart.

A really beautiful woman, who I have been blessed to have in my life, now has Stage 4 Cancer. She  is a woman “full of grace” and absolutely amazing.  She is a warrior queen who rages against her battle with a softness and love for life, that breaks all boundaries of the kingdom of the “Big C,” and day by day she gently and powerfully conquers with another day of living life.  She often dresses up with a colorful scarf atop her head, that draws out the beautiful colors of her eyes, that sparkle every time she smiles. She reminds me that every day life is worth smiling about, even when it really sucks. And even more importantly, she has taught me: that even when life seems like it is trying to close its door on you, keep reaching out in open arms and gently say to it, “I’m still here. And I’m ready to receive you and accept you, even if what you are placing in front of me is not what I want because I WANT TO LIVE.”

And this is why Love and pain will always dance together. They dance together in this deeply real image of  my beautiful friend (our beautiful friends) moving in perfect rhythm to the music of life, while death keeps stepping on her toes and throwing her off balance every once in a while until it wins [in the literal sense]. It’s the deeper reality for those of us watching this happen: that at times Love Really Hurts.

Loving my friend brings with it a deep hurt: I know deep down inside that she is going to die: there will be an emptiness inside me when she is gone, and it hurts right now because her inevitable death seems so unfair because she is so good and she wants to keep LIVING.

And because I love her,  deep down inside my heart is that painful question of,”WHY?”

“Why if she is soooo good, and sooo loved, does she need to suffer? Why did she have to get sick? Why does she have to die at such a young age? Why….and the questions keep coming.

I know that I can answer these questions in a very spiritual manner…and connect to an understanding of spiritual, emotional and bodily suffering as a part of life, and a Creator and the Beloved who suffers with me, with her… and at times brings me great comfort…

But…that’s an answer that may only fulfill me, or still may not be enough…

And so I look deep inside myself and I feel it…and I listen to it. The sadness deep in my heart. The part of me that feels the grief. The inevitable knowing that one day, she won’t be here. The anticipatory awareness that others too are going to hurt. In other words, the parts of me that Love her. The parts of me that are LOVE.

And then the tears come slowly, but deeply. And then the quiet sobs, that make you hold your breath, because your body just hurts too much.

Then you get yourself back together. And you put your feet back down on the solid ground below you, and you move forward again.

And you remind yourself. She’s not dead yet. She’s still here.  And that she’s living life. And you’ve got to do the exact same thing: LIVE.

And the question is no longer Why, but HOW.

As I return to Love as a powerful force for living rather than for pain, I am able to learn from my friend. She is teaching me how to live my life by the way she shares  her love and welcomes and receives my love; and she teaches me to love life more fully by the way that she lives…

LIVING:

  • Embracing your own fragility,
  •  Being comfortable with questions that don’t have the perfect answer, or maybe even an answer at all.
  • Breathing & Smiling even when life gives you a hurricane when all you asked for was a little rain
  • Loving yourself even when your body is failing you
  • Loving others even when death is knocking on their door
  • Letting your body, mind and spirit weep from the pain with a good cry every once in a while
  • Connecting to your spiritual roots, and allowing them to nourish your spirit
  • Seeking out others to accompany on their journey, and inviting others to accompany you on your journey too

What would you add?

And Living and Loving is what makes you more fully YOU: When you LOVE: and allow all that is LOVE to touch your life, then you LIVE, and by LIVING a deeper more meaningful life—one that doesn’t stop loving because of fear of the pain—you become more fully who you truly are: you become more fully and deeply human.

—This is what I realize now that I have been able to step back from the pain, and going forward can embrace the beautiful reality of how my friend celebrates life through her ability to Love  Life and all that it is.

Below is the message I wrote to my beautiful friend, that I want to share with you.

*

May you always be blessed to know LOVE and to become more fully yourself each and every day by giving yourself the gift of Living life.

Blessings AlwaysErin, Bella Bleue
©Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life™ All Rights Reserved.

* If any of you would ever like me to write something for someone you love, or even for yourself with one of my images, I would always be honored.

Connecting to the wonder we are, Spirituality

Your Glow is Still on My Life even after Death

Touch me and I will follow in your afterglow
Heal me from all this sorrow
As I let you go I will find my way, I will sacrifice
Now I’m living in your afterglow  —INXS Afterglow”  

Whenever I lost some amazing person at the hospital I would listen to this song, and savor his/her memory. I often feel a  glow upon my life after a special person has died. Sometimes when people I cared for died, and I wasn’t there, they have come to my thoughts (even those who have suffered greatly) and tell me, they are okay, with a smile on their face. (This has actually happened to me a number of times.)

In my work as a spiritual counselor, people will often tell me stories about encounters they had had with a deceased loved one. Frequently, they will say, “I don’t know if you’ll believe me but…” And of course, I tell them I believe them. The power of the spiritual world and individual connection to it is very personal. I deeply believe that connection with the deceased does happen. It is real.

How about you? Do you ever feel the presence of someone you love, or dream about him or her? What has this experience been like for you?

I was moved to share this story with you because of Memorial Day*, but also because many of the people I follow and share in conversation with here, have expressed the loss/death of someone they have loved.

I invite you to open your heart and hold all those who are grieving right now in your heart, and send to everyone of them, and even to yourself if you  need it, a prayer of love and compassion.

I open my hands to catch your tears, and hold the sacredness of who you are and who you have loved within my arms. I ask the benevolence of the earth and all of creation to touch you with a gentle presence of grace in ways that you can understand and feel.

Whenever you need to be near the ones you love who have died, open yourself and ask them to be near you, and when you are ready to receive them I imagine they will find a way to be near you or to let you know what you need to hear.

Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue
©
Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life™ All rights reserved.

If you are interested in understanding connection or want to connect more, a wonderful blog to visit: Necole Stephens

Photo is from a wonderful Facebook Page called Heart Centered Rebalancing

*This Monday we celebrate Memorial Day. It is traditionally a day of remembering men and women in the Armed Forces who have given their lives for service. It is also a time when people visit the cemetery…and remember and celebrate life of those they love.

Healing, Health

I’m Grieving and I’m Healing

Last week I wrote about how to deal with unexpected change. I was blessed with some very supportive answers from fellow bloggers…and an underlying message was to take some time and listen…which I did. I discovered that deep down I was anticipating the grief: the sadness, and pain, I was going to feel because of the change I would be undergoing.  And this anticipatory grief was getting in my way—my feelings were not being tended to, and I couldn’t make any choices because I was ignoring what I was really feeling. It was hard to discover my true feelings because what was going to happen was something good, and yet, I was feeling sad.

When I did my residency at the hospital years ago, I used to talk about anticipatory grief often with my colleagues. I worked in the ICU and Transplant Units and could often tell when death was near and I knew when I was feeling sad about losing my patient and watching the family grieve as well. I understood this grief. It made sense. I could call it by its name. Grieving death was normal…something to be expected—and the people I worked with understood it too. They created a safe place to talk about grief. 

BUT! Grief isn’t just an experience before or after someone dies—Grief  is also very normal in the every day dealings of life. Every Day Grief can happen when: we have a baby & everything in life changes, or the kind of grief we have when we finish college, or the kind of grief we have when we move out of state, or the kind of grief we have when we realize we aren’t living the life we had hoped for and so on. [This kind of] grief  is not something we usually want to talk about in our culture. Consequently, when I say, I’m grieving about some future event or something I’m going through, I notice I often get the expected response: “It will be okay. Don’t worry so much.” Yet, the response I really need is a good LISTENING EAR, that is comfortable with my feelings…that says, “I hear what you are saying, and if you need anything, I’m here for you.”

I believe that  if we, as a culture, were more comfortable with grief, we all might be a lot happier & healthier in life: We could talk about what we feel—and feel listened to—and be able to move through our grief more naturally and comfortably.

  • We wouldn’t be hiding our feelings: Our grief wouldn’t be a hidden experience in our lives that keeps us feeling down—we would be dealing with what we were feeling and give ourselves the chance to understand what we really need at that time
  • We would be dealing with our feelings while they were happening: We would be able to be in the moment instead of  misunderstanding our feelings for something else.
  • We wouldn’t be as reactive to people who are close to us: Sometimes when we don’t understand our grief we may be more reactive towards  people we are close to. For example, we may get angry with our spouse because he or she says the wrong thing, when the real reason we are angry is because we don’t feel like we are being cared for—
  • We would be able to ask for help or care more easily when we know that we are grieving—if grieving is an accepted part of life–people won’t feel shamed for their feelings or experience of grief and thus, be more in tune with themselves and what they need when feeling this way.

Do you recognize when you are grieving?
Are you comfortable about feeling grief?
Are you able to talk openly about your grief? Whether it be about death, change, loss of self or identity, etc.?
 

It is always amazing to me how so many of us talk about wanting to be happy and positive all the time, but in doing so we often forget how important it is that we allow ourselves to feel sadness, anger, loss, etc. because by allowing ourselves to be open about our feelings we actually are allowing ourselves to heal—and the healing invites the positive, happy, joyful feelings to naturally arise.

Give yourself the gift of being tender with you, and let yourself grieve when you need to. Grief comes and goes whenever it wants to show up so don’t be hard on yourself and say, “What’s wrong with me?…Just let it be: accept it and love yourself enough to say, “It’s okay that I feel this way today.” And trust that there will be better days ahead when the time is right!

But also remember that being consumed with grief that leads to depression or grief that begins to interfere with your life, is not healthy— and you should seek help when you need it! You deserve to be well!

Blessings,Erin, Bella Bleue
©Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life™

*photo from Wikpedia: Angel of Grief

Healing, Inspiration

Love Has Not Forgotten You Today

Healing is a daily journey. If you have experienced dark places in your life, you know how challenging it can be to try to climb out of these holes. And after you’ve been there, you know how hard it is to feel love, receive love, and give love again….not only involving loving others, but most importantly involving loving yourself.

Because you are alive, and living be kind to yourself and bless yourself with these gifts:

Be ever so gentle with yourself today. Be kind to yourself and say, “It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to feel, even when feeling hurts.  I can breathe.      I am alive. I’m real. I am enough right now in this very moment. I am me. I am a gift unto the world. My life matters! And what I feel matters. And, now I’m just going to be, right here, right now, in this very moment.” -Bella Bleue

*Love/Light will always find you and carry you out of your darkness, if you allow yourself to be found. Love/Light is always there waiting for you even when you aren’t ready to see it or know it, but the moment you do want to know it, Love/Light is there to embrace you.

Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue
©Bella Bleue Healing, Health, & Inspiration for Your Life™

*Love/light in this context may evoke different names or meanings to you. Fill in the sentences with whatever word/name speaks to you!