My grief and my joy are also yours
Trauma and healing are not purely of the individual, neither are our gains or losses. David Whyte says that “you cannot be a good writer in isolation. You must read other writers”. Writing, learning and healing are not possible in isolation. We can only do this in community, in relationship to others. This is where learning and healing happen. Constellations constantly reveal that there is no individual solution, that what is good for everyone is also good for me.
2021 has been a tireless reminder of this essential truth, that we are not alone in our lives, but deeply connected to the larger whole. From our family unit to the global community, we have been part of systems that have influenced the way we lived throughout these last months. Our country’s particular response to the coronavirus crisis has impacted our lives, our movements and our behaviors. This year some of us will have lost people we love, connections, trust, health, jobs and freedom of movement, leaving us dishearten and isolated. In return we also had to make choices and take difficult decisions that have affected our families, work places and communities. We were all in this together, intertwined.
Beside the groups we are consciously part of, our family, neighborhood or culture, we are in resonance with bigger fields as well, collective fields that share a common destiny. When something happens to us, we are in tune with many others who are going through the same experience. When we are happy or sad, we are in resonance with many others who feel like us. Again, we are not alone.
On another level, we are also subtly connected to our roots. We experience the echo of what happened to our ancestors, following one of these dynamics: repeating what they did “me like you”, compensating “me for you”( carrying their guilt when they didn’t take responsibility for the hurt they caused, or taking revenge for what was inflicted on them), or healing the past (seeing their pain, feeling our love and choosing to do it differently).
We are approaching the threshold to the coming year… the moment to pause and reflect on the joys and losses that have visited us in 2021. What did we fall in love with that will help us navigate the uncertainties of the next year? What are the losses that will make us more compassionate in the future? And how can we farewell 2021 with greater awareness of our togetherness?
Inspired by a meditation from Brigitte Champetier de Ribes, I would like to invite you to an intimate end-of-year ritual… you will need to find the right moment and space, a little table or shelf, and some beautiful stones, shells or figurines to represent the people you were connected to. We are going to connect to the gains and losses of 2021.
I choose a joy, a gain, a success I experienced this year.
1 - I start setting up an object to represent myself. Another one to represent my success… I take a breath, I feel into this moment of joy.
2 - I add a representation for the ancestor(s) who are connected to my success. Who would celebrate this success with me? Who could not achieve what I have accomplished? Who allowed this? … I feel the connection… I honor them.
3 - I add a representation for the fields that have helped me to achieve this: family, neighbors, friends, colleagues… I honor them and thank them.
4 - I add a representation for the people, known or unknown, who had the same experience as me, and whose resonance has allowed me to feel this joy… I thank them for elevating me.
5 - Now I add a representation for the people I am helping to grow, thanks to my resonance… and I say to them: “You can do it too”. There are many of them… people who resonate with me.
5 - Finally I add a representative for my higher self, my adult self… thank her for my decisions, my actions and my commitment that took me to that success.
I stay in tune with this field for a moment, feeling the connection to them, through my nervous system. Remembering this while I enter 2022, opening myself to many more blessings and successes.
In the second part of the ritual we are going to choose something that was difficult, a loss, a pain we experienced in 2021.
1-We start again with a representation for myself and a representation for my pain… I take a breath, and I look at the pain. I see if you can say yes to it, to that pain… I know that this pain is the doorway for an important change in my life… I allow myself to feel it… and I say “thank you for entering my life at the service of transformation”.
2-I add a representation for a possible loyalty to the past, a family member who went through the same suffering, a pattern in my family I was not aware of… where my suffering is the product of my unconscious decision “me like you”… I look at this ancestor and I say: “I see you, I see your pain… it’s all over now… your pain was not in vain.”
3-I add a representation for a possible compensation pattern, a harm that was not acknowledged… an ancestor who hurt someone and did not take responsibility for what they did… I might have unconsciously responded to them: “I will pay for you”. I look at them with lots of love… what a perpetrator needs first is someone to love them. I can say: “its’ all paid now, you with your life, me with my life”.
4-The last representation will be for the people who are suffering today with whom I am in resonance… we are influencing each other… I can look at them and say: “I see your pain… I honor your destiny… and I choose life.” Feel how each of this sentence gives them their dignity back… “I choose life”.
Please make sure you are grounded before you do this second part of the ritual.
Our gains and losses are portals to a deeper connection to others, to gratitude for what was possible, and compassion for the ones we are in resonance with in our suffering.
Rituals help us to celebrate transitions, marking endings and beginnings. The druids used to harvest mistletoe at the end of the year, symbolizing fertility and peace. In France we celebrate new year’s eve kissing under the mistletoe hanging above the door. It is believed to bring good luck during the coming year. May we go through this doorway carrying in our heart the richness of our experience, the grief and the joy. May we be open to more love and consciousness in 2022.