My yogi tea bag saying this morning says: ”Bliss is a constant state of mind, undisturbed by gain or loss.” I love the sayings I find on my tea bag each morning. They always make me think.
Bliss, like choices, yes, I do believe are a state of mind. We have a choice to live in bliss, no matter what may be going on in our lives. But how challenging that is at times, right? I know for me, someone who for the past five years has really talked the talk of being positive with my wheelie side kick, Frankie, this is something I’ve tried hard to to not only talk, but also walk.
I’ll admit this summer was a bit of a challenge for me with being positive despite losing Frankie. I found myself swallowing the grief many times, continuing to put on my happy, blissful, positive face, even when I wanted to just lay down and cry. I didn’t want to be happy. I wanted to wallow in the depths of losing Frankie- the little being who filled my everyday with such amazing love and joy. I didn’t want to be in bliss. I wanted to feel sorry for myself and crawl into a hole and never come out again. I wanted to feel sorry for what ended and not have hope for what might be. All I wanted was to have Frankie back again. Then my life would be complete once again.
But I knew I couldn’t stay there- and many days, even though I had days of wanting to just live in the pain and let it take me away, I also wanted to find my way back to my bliss. I read a book a few weeks ago that talks about grief in one of the most honest ways I’ve ever read. The book is called, “This I know- notes on unraveling the heart” by Susannah Conway. It is the book chosen for the Creative Book Salon I am in which writing coach, Cynthia Morris leads each month. Susannah says in her book, “You don’t get over grief- you move through it as you learn to live with the loss. You have to learn to swim with it.”
So that is what I did this summer, I learned to move through it, to accept that yes, my life is now changed because Frankie is gone. I learned to swim.
Another thing she said which I found so profound was this, “Each person experiences grief in their own individual way. And though I have often thought that to lose a child would be the most devastating loss of all, there is no hierarchy to grief—only we can know the pain we feel and what we have lost.” I can’t even begin to express what this meant to me to read this. Even though I know losing an animal is just as hard as losing a human for many, sometimes harder, I still can find myself not expressing my loss around those who may not understand for fear of judgement. But I appreciated how Susannah seems to give permission to dealing with any type of loss and doing it in our own way.
This brings me full circle back to bliss- a state of mind. Susannah lost the love of her life and she spiraled down to the deepest depths of her soul– only to come out finding a new bliss, trusting that it was there all along—that she would find her way back to it. Bliss, always there, no matter what gain or loss we have– we just have to make the conscious choice to choose it. And when our mind can’t even begin to grasp it during dark days– we can trust that we can have bliss back in the simple act of choosing our thought to be just that.