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Grief And Love As Opposites

Lisa Michelle Zega April 2023

Grief Kuel Thought Leader: Lisa Michelle Zega

Grief and love are often seen as opposites, but what if they are two sides of the same heart?

Denied Love And Compassion:

Grief is often defined as a natural response to loss. And the pain we experience is said to be indicative of the deep love that we have for the person or thing we have lost. But, isn’t it also an expression of how much the one suffering matters? If at its core, love involves a deep sense of care, compassion, and affection for someone or something, perhaps experiencing loss isn’t just about what was lost, but the person experiencing loss.

“Grief is often defined as a natural response to loss.”

What if the reason that ignoring our pain is damaging to our emotional, physical, and spiritual health is because it is a form of self-denial and we are too important to be denied? It seems that instinctually we know that we are made by love and for love. Maybe that’s why when our grief is denied love and compassion, we can not heal.

We Require Love To Heal Grief:

It’s easy to forget that pain is a natural and inevitable part of the human experience. Especially in a culture that is obsessed with productivity, success, and looking good. It’s no wonder that even though we all experience physical, emotional, and spiritual pain, we are tempted to push it aside. We try to ignore it, and keep going.

But because we require love to heal, doing so only prolongs our suffering and prevents us from truly living. Ignoring pain isolates us from ourselves, one another, and our communities.

When we neglect our pain, we are rejecting a part of ourselves. Which leads to discounting others. We deny ourselves the opportunity to acknowledge and process our feelings. Which inevitably leads to denying others from feeling the weight of their pain with us. We don’t get the care and compassion that we need to heal, so we don’t have it to extend to others. It’s no wonder loneliness is an epidemic and there is a pervasive sense of disconnection and alienation.

“Through this process, we can develop greater self-awareness and self-compassion”

Ignoring Our Pain:

And that’s not all. Ignoring our pain leads to a number of physical and emotional symptoms. These symptoms, include depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and other health problems. We need love and compassion to heal.

When we acknowledge and embrace our pain, we declare that we matter. Our fellow humans matter. We open ourselves up to the possibility of true healing and wholehearted living. We allow ourselves to experience the full range of human emotions. And to connect with ourselves and others on a deeper level. Through this process, we can develop greater self-awareness and self-compassion, and we can learn to offer ourselves the love and care that we need to heal.

Response To Loss:

It’s worth considering that grief and love may not be opposites, but rather two complementary aspects of the human experience. Grief, often viewed as a response to loss, is actually a powerful expression of love and compassion for the one experiencing loss and deep love for the person or thing that has been lost.

By embracing the interconnectedness of grief and love, we can learn to hold our suffering with greater compassion and find comfort and healing in the midst of difficult times.

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Lisa Michelle Zega

About the Author:

Lisa Michelle Zega is a Life Coach for Midlife Women of faith who are starting over after the death of a spouse or a divorce and are struggling with sadness and self-doubt. She helps them metabolize grief to retain all the nutrients, learning and wisdom and release the waste, so they can begin again with joy and confidence. 

She was married to a pastor, divorced after 23 years of marriage and her boys stopped talking to her for nearly 6 years. Zega later buried a fiancé 5 months before their wedding day. She now lives with her handsome biker hubby, adorable Jack Russel and creative stepson outside of Los Angeles and enjoys a renewed relationship with her grown sons. 

She’s a devoted Minnesota Vikings fan, enjoys people, loves to hike, read, travel and embraces the fullness of life — the joy, sorrow and all the in between. You can find more about Lisa Michelle at Legityou.com or Lisamichelle.legityou on Instagram.