Gems for the Journey

Honoring and Reflecting on Emotions

Emotions are abundant on every stage of the grief journey. The reflection for this e-zine is a list of questions. It is an invitation to look at what is happening within you, and what you need to care for yourself whatever your feelings may be.

Give yourself the gift of time to be quiet for a few moments and reflect on the questions below.

- What emotions are a part of your life today?

- Have you stopped to notice them or have you pushed them down and busied yourself with things to do?

- Or do you feel you are drowning in them?

- However you have dealt with your feelings, what do you need for greater wholeness today, at this moment?

- How are your emotions effecting your life? Where in your body do you feel them effecting you?

- What color would you say describes your feelings today? What other ways would you describe your emotions?

- What might your emotions be asking of you? Under the surface of your emotions, is there a deep invitation for you?

- What do you need from yourself/others/God to further your healing process?

- How can you hold and honor that need today?

Listening to our emotions is one of many ways we can listen to ourselves. Our soul knows what we need to heal. I don't know about you, but too often I forget to take the time to listen.

Photo Reflection

As you may have seen in the photography section of the site, I find nature's images to be very helpful in processing my emotions. Here is a photo with a reflection that I wrote earlier this year. Of course what I see in the photo is greatly impacted by what I am experiencing in my life at the time. I may have written something different today. (If your email system does not provide html formatting, you can see the photos on the back issue section on the website.)

My Reflection:

I see a squirrel stopped still in its tracks staring at me. When I made this photo, I was actually out on the balcony photographing a tree. I had no intention of startling a squirrel. But he came scampering along the railing completely oblivious to my presence. At my movement he stopped still. I see his anxious waiting, his body alert to possible danger, ready to turn and flee. The setting of this scene is a grey as he is. It was an overcast and stormy day.

I feel an invitation in this photo. It is an invitation to be real. Last night and this morning, I have been aware that I am stuffing some true feelings of anxiety and disappointment. I had been happily enjoying life when I was stopped still with the realization that things might not turn out as I had imagined they would. So I have attempted to ignore my feelings, to rationalize them away. Yet here I see a squirrel inviting me to look my fears full on, to wear my feelings with my whole body, to be alert to their presence.

While I know that I cannot live so fully in this feelings that I drown in them. I can be honest with them and face them. I can acknowledge their presence and remind myself to be grateful for these feelings that exist because I am alive. I can be grateful that I am not the sum total of these feelings and that I will not turn and flee.

Photo for Your Reflection

What longing, pain, hopes, emotions does this photo touch in you? If you would like to write about it, choose one emotion and give it your full attention.
New to the Site

A recent addition to the Journey-through-Grief website is a place where you can post tributes or memorials for your deceased loved ones. It is a very simple process of typing into a form, with an option to upload a digital photo. Click here to link to the tribute page.

Retreat Offered

If you are local to Pennsylvania, you may be interested in a series of retreats that a friend and I are offering. This retreat provides space for participants to explore their spiritual journey through scrapbooking, photography, and other visual arts.

No art experience is necessary, just a desire to enrich your prayer life and connect with God in new ways around your life story.

Both Mary and I found the artistic expression of life journey to be healing as we worked through grief following the death of family members. Mary enjoys working with paper collage and fabric. I enjoy writing, scrapbooking, and photography. You can find out more info on the site by clicking here.

Feel free to contact me anytime, if you think of anything that would be a helpful addition to the site. Also feel free to pass this newsletter on to anyone you might know who would find it helpful.

May you find peace today for your journey,