It has been said that our biology becomes our biography.
What does this mean?
Think of your actions and reactions like the flow of water coming down a mountain. If you have suffered loss and grief, and I’m sure all of us have, then think back (or perhaps you’re in the thick of it now) and remember how you reacted mentally and physically. Do you under or over eat? Do you shake and find yourself staring into space? Do you loose your ability to take a deep breath? That, by the way, is a very common reaction to grief. Everyone is different and our reactions vary. What is common however is to experience the same path of grief symptoms because your body remembers the path. Our biography becomes our biology.
Recognizing our patterns is the first step to changing our patterns in any aspect of our life be it poor health habits or our reaction to grief. With enough focus, we can learn to take a deep breath a bit sooner, perhaps. That’s my goal as I mourn the loss of a man that mattered a great deal to me. He helped me to get over a difficult time in my life and I helped him as well. He died yesterday and the air was sucked out of me. Today I walked for miles-which soothes my soul-and attempted to breath deeper. It’s certainly fine to allow yourself time to grieve-and to a point healthy to do so-but I recognize that this time, I will find other ways to allow myself time to grieve without sabotaging my health.
I walked in the woods with my dog Wilma. I have sourdough bread rising on the counter. I’m going to work on my latest painting. I am going to go to Treehorn Books and find a wonderful old book to read and imagine whose hands held it last.
I’d love to hear from you about how you cope with grief, if you feel like sharing.