healingHelloS O M A T I C / T H E R A P Yguided mushroom journey boulder co

Good Grief.

I felt it one morning in bed, years ago, as my sleeping love nuzzled his head into the warm skin of my belly.  It was days before I would leave our home, our bed, the love that moved between us like honey: warm and thick, sweet with Earth.  That morning, we knew the heavy hand of loss was clutching our hearts, the hands of an infinite clock ticking.  We had prepared, but who can be truly ready?

Etching fold of blanket and fingerprint into my mind, I knew the treasure of these moments would only happen once: only once would there be him, right there, right then, the lines from sleep on his face, his unknowing dark eyelashes as he slept.  Only once, a mustard-colored napkin hanging from the blinds to block out the amber light from the lamp post outside our apartment.  And me, saying prayers of thanks over our sacred bodies, for the inevitability of loss that loving always brings.


Love is the great Goddess of cycles; in its purest, it is all things.  Where the gates of Love are open, anything may enter.  And so in inviting Love, we also invite loss.  From the crest of ecstasy we glimpse the valley of shadows, and we may think it safest to stay above, in the sunlight, warming our faces and bodies and ideals in the light.

But the opportunity is this: to open to loss as a bloom welcomes the bee, who visits and leaves with some of our essence.  We call to us the losses in our lives by the simple fact of our blooming, attracting what needs us, and when.  The lessons of loss are the many-splendored moments that bring forth the necessary removal of what is no longer ours to hold; what must leave us if it is to serve the world, the people we love, to be made into something new. It’s the alchemy that becomes the dripping sweetness of life.


Truth, once we are awake to it, will not let us escape it.  Truth is your fingerprint, the sound of your name when you say it in your mind, the flow of air from your mouth as you whisper; it belongs to you in a way that will not leave you.  It is a constantly-ringing bell in the hand of your Future Self: the one who Knows, the guidance that moves you to love what you love, and sometimes, to leave it, too.

Relationships are the wildfires of the heart: they rage through us, burning and purifying, and if we let them, opening us, readying us for new growth.  There is never not destruction where love has taken hold; it is the way of rebirth.  There is tearing flesh, hot tears and wails of pain, even in relationships that endure.

But when they end, there is a choice: it can be a waking nightmare, or a merciful unraveling.  We can white knuckle it, or unclench our fists.

Sometimes, it’s both.  This is perhaps as it should be. That duality binds us to a gyroscopic unfolding in which there is no heaven and no hell, just a rip tide and the occasional sense of land in the distance.  Letting go will bring us to shore; this is true of a tide that seems to take hold of our lives, to be pulling us under.  Letting go is the sacred path to freedom.

Let there be this for us all, between lovers, and between love and loss: the good grief of life, heavy as gold, and just as valuable.


Women In the Wild Photographer

{Image by Morgan Wade}

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