Grief and Shadow

I’ve been reading a lot of David Richo lately. He is a meditator and a Jungian psychotherapist and his books have a wonderful optimistic clarity about being human and the loss, growth, and joy that comes with it. He’s like a wise, kind uncle I never had. Right now I’m reading Shadow Dance: Liberating the Power & Creativity of Your Dark Side. In this book he talks about the negative side of our shadow-selves, the self-destructive side of our personality that you hear a lot about. But he also talks about the creative side of shadow. While I usually don’t post reviews of a book before I’m done, this one is helping me a lot – in particular he has some really nice positive affirmations on grief that I aspire to embody, and so I want to quote them here:

I am human. Things like this happen to humans.
This can happen to me and has.
I also have it in me to live through it and get over it.
Grief and acceptance are precisely how.

  • I let myself fully feel this hurt without any defense against it.
  • I vow not to retaliate.
  • I declare directly to the person the impact of his or her behavior on me without blaming or shaming. I ask for amends if appropriate.
  • I accept the fact of occasional inconsiderateness or meanness as a given of human life.
  • I am determined not to be mean myself.
  • I embrace my aloneness and open myself to support.
  • I accept the changes that keep happening around and in me.
  • I grieve and let go what is passing away.
  • I embrace what is coming to pass and feel excited by it.
  • I live through pain and am transformed by it.
  • I keep finding creative responses to the unpredictable surprises of life.
  • I grieve about unfairness and act fairly in all my dealings.
  • I acknowledge some burdens are too hard for me and open myself to support from beyond myself.
  • I open myself to the graces that keep inviting me to let go of ego.

(from pages 56, 59, and 61)