By Rachel Machacek, LCSW
Dear beloved friend, spouse, wife, husband, partner, sister, brother, mother, father, aunt, uncle, cousin, confidant, family:
I’m so sorry you are having to go through this—this loss, this hurt, this trauma, this life-altering thing you didn’t ask for or want and don’t know what to do with. If you’re wondering if you’re progressing, you are. Because you’re reading this, and as you read, you’re breathing and your body is alive despite the heaviness, achiness, overall unacceptable discomfort. It’s terrible. And yet. You’re here, taking the next breath.
Can you feel your hurt now? Can you put a hand over your heart and take one moment of compassion for all that hurt, for what you lost, for what you’ve gone through and will experience in the future? Go ahead, place your hand on your heart. Feel the weight of your hand and breathe up into it. That’s it.
Can you soften your jaw? Can you relax your tongue? Can you shrug your shoulders? Go ahead. Feel your breath deepen as your chest softens down with each exhale and then lifts as if your breath is breathing you. That’s it.
Now close your eyes and feel your body where it sits or stands. Feel your seat. Feel your feet. Notice where clothing and air touch your skin. Notice the warmth or coolness. That’s it.
You don’t have to have any big plan or idea or know what comes next. Truly. When there is no answer to the big looming questions (Why? How? What if?), come back to what is happening right now. Let that be what you know. Just for now, feel your breath. Just for a moment, feel your body. Go ahead. That’s it.