Recently, I have been having a lot of conversations with people who are grieving. Big griefs. The loss of a little sister. The loss of a husband. The loss of a career.
Every instance is one that pulls my heart strings. I tangibly feel the weight of each story.
And I am reminded of my own journey. I know grief. I know what it feels like to have the world suddenly turn itself upside down, to have the sky itself surge upward and away while the earth drops beneath my feet.
Chances are, you know grief, too.
So, this post is for you.
In a recent letter to a friend, I wrote this:
First, there is a question I have for you.
What path are you on: the path to survive all of this or the path to healing? Because I have learned that they are very different paths.
I cannot recommend the path to surviving. It is our most natural choice, but is does nothing for us, especially since it never ends. Ever. The life of survival never allows us to tell our story without pain, without grief. Sure, we can “move on,” but we never truly do. And we then carry the wounds of our past as burdens, susceptible to any bump/scrape/trip that would cause them to flare up and shut us down.
The path to healing is very different. It leads us to be able to fully serve again, without any hesitation or pain. It’s a liberating path, full of breakthroughs and newfound peace. It also involves a tremendous amount of transparency, the kind of personal vulnerability that can never be experienced on the path to survival.
So, if I may ask you again, which path are you on?
If you’re on the path to healing, I would offer you one more learning… Blame will automatically push you to the path of survival.
Trying to blame the people who have hurt you (whether they be drunk drivers, false accusers, or even the randomness of Life), will always take you away from the path of healing.
Sure, we want justice. We want truth. We want the lies to be exposed and we ultimately want to be vindicated of whatever blame we feel… So, we push that blame back at the players within our painful story. We create airtight arguments in our minds that both soothe us and trap us at the same time. We search for the willing ear who will hear our tale and join us in condemning the evil against us. This is the insidious part. It feels good to blame. It helps us survive. And keeps us from healing.
I don’t know where you are at today. I may not even know you at all. But hear me in this: you can heal. You can do more than survive. You can eventually thrive in such a way that your story ends with peace. Beautiful, heavenly peace – the kind that transcends our current situation and gives hope to others.
Thanks for listening.
I mua. Onward and upward.
By Tim Ohai
6 thoughts on “A Lesson for Grief”
Good afternoon Tim,
This was the most insightful post I have read from you. Thank you for writing it and sharing it with us.
So beyond the obvious…You Rock. I will never forget the difference between the path of survival and healing.
Strength & Honor.
Lumina Learning Americas
Marcel, you bless me. Thank you.
Aloha Tim!! this is a wonderful article
Thanks Tim! As always, Very insightful. Lost my dad last June, and it has indeed been a struggle between the paths…
My heart is with you, mon ami.