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Dancing with a Limp

“But those who are able to distinguish between a range of various emotions “do much, much better at managing the ups and downs of ordinary existence than those who see everything in black and white.”― Brené Brown, Atlas of the Heart

“You’ll lose someone you can’t live without, and your heart will be badly broken, and the bad news is that you never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also the good news. They live forever in your broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly—that still hurts when the weather gets cold—but you learn to dance with the limp.” – Anne Lamott

This quote from Anne Lamott came in a weekly email from Grief Compass, a wonderful resource that has been helpful and free from platitudes, shoulds, processes/rules, black and white and move on already. Loss not only comes with death of a family member or friend. It comes from a change/loss of a job, a divorce, retirement, the kids leaving home, a 3 year pandemic, shifting relationships, disappointments woven through life.

All walk paths of grief. Each differently. Some avoiding, looking for the bypass. Some going through, right up the middle. Most a mix of it all. No one skipped or bypassed. This is where empathy, compassion and self-care come in to sit with us. And also, how we learn to dance again with a limp. Ever changed, different, broken open and moving back into the current of life, then back on the shore and then back in the river yet again.

If you are on the front-end of this journey, you are not alone. Sit with it, nothing to solve or fix. Reach out, find someone who will listen and sit with you. Grief is the cost of love. I would rather pay the price than to not love deeply and imperfectly. Love well today and dance, especially with a limp.

“This is one reason we need to dispel the myth that empathy is “walking in someone else’s shoes.” Rather than walking in your shoes, I need to learn how to listen to the story you tell about what it’s like in your shoes and believe you even when it doesn’t match my experiences.”― Brené Brown, Atlas of the Heart

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