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Grief | How It Affects The Body | P2

Oct 25, 2023 | emotional wellness, grief, trauma

Grief is haunting. It has a way of sneaking up on you and knocking the wind out of you. It is no respecter of persons or time. It is intrusive. Demanding. And uncensored. It is unrelenting in its pursuit of attention. It’s a force that we cannot dismiss. Grief is an inevitable thief. Unapologetic in its efforts. Grief can swallow us up at a moment’s notice if we don’t recognize its complexity. Grief is, for all intents and purposes, not something any of us look forward to, but it is in fact inescapable. We will all experience grief.

To some, it will come with just enough force to remind us that we are mortal, and for others of us, it will come like a category 5 hurricane. Both can cause us to wave our white flag to its unwavering force of debilitating sorrow and deep pain. But, my friends, yes, there is a BUT! Grief is also one of the most powerful teachers. It can teach us that we are not, in fact, the independent humans we had hoped we were. We need each other. We need the extended hand of the Father. We need His grace and most importantly, His peace and His presence. We also need that intuition He gave us to tune in and listen to our body’s needs. Part of the healing process from grief and trauma is REST! Rest, in my opinion, is the best medicine for emotional trauma. 

Second to that would be talking to someone. There is no shame in needing to talk to someone who can help you unpack your feelings. We as humans are good at packing our feelings and thoughts away like we were personally trained by Marie Kondo herself, or we organize them in color coded baskets like we just binged watch The Home Edit on Netflix. Well, friends, that is all fine and well for a short season while you catch your breath. Just be sure to take all those color coded baskets and sit with someone and unpack them before they start to overflow. 

I learned this the hard way. I had multiple traumatic events happen seemingly all at once. I had become a perfectionist with collecting those color coded baskets and organizing them to the degree that I’m sure I would have been hired on the spot by the Home Edit crew. The first thing that went down the tube was my diet. And man did that make things worse. I started having so many health issues. You see, when we experience trauma our bodies go into the “fight or flight” mode, which is fine if you are running from a bear because then all your sensors go back to normal once you are safe. But, when we experience trauma and we lay down in our grief, our bodies stay in that mode. They are continuously releasing cortisol and adrenaline, which wreaks havoc on the systems in our body. Not good! It causes inflammation and keeps the cycle of not feeling well going. It’s the encore performance for grief. Because grief and trauma are unavoidable, it is of the utmost importance that we take care of ourselves. God created our bodies to function in a state of wholeness. Wholeness means nothing missing, lacking, or broken. He entrusted them to us. It is our responsibility to take care of them with intention and purpose. We will lessen the blow of grief by doing so.

Grief has many layers. It is complicated. It’s messy. It’s so, so hard. Grief doesn’t need any help from us. Oh friends, that we would learn to listen and tune in to these bodies God gave us. There is a signal for every experience, good or bad if we will just listen. When we are waist deep in our feelings, listen. The first thing your body will say to you is, it’s time to rest. It’s time to slow down. The second thing is nourishment. Nourishment comes in many forms. Two of them are food and enjoyment. Good, wholesome food can help heal our wounded hearts just as much as being with the people we love and doing things we enjoy. It’s so important that on your journey back to wholeness, that you quiet the outside noise and tune in to what your body is saying. Eat foods that will help your body operate well. Spend some time with YOU! You have to boss grief around. Grief is terrible. It’s breaking. But it’s only that way on one side of it. The other side is beautiful. The other side is…. healed.