Ask, don’t assume.

There is definitely an upside and downside to being an extrovert or an introvert. And both these dualities exist within each of us. Most of us naturally gravitate towards one more than the other. Achieving that perfect balance of extroversion and introversion, and applying these dualities as the situation demands would be my utopia.  I strive to be like water,  an element that has achieved this balance and is as perfect as it can be in every moment. Of course, this is my perception of water 🙂 Going on a complete tangent, I wonder what would happen if we start using the word ‘perception’ instead of ‘opinion’. For some reason, I perceive the word, perception, to be more open minded 🙂 🙂 🙂

As someone who is more extroverted than introverted in nature, expressing my thoughts around death and grief was not a difficult task. My introverted energy was directly channeled into my canvas, where I could paint my inner world. However, the expressive side of me struggled.  When I met people, I wanted to share memories and thoughts, accompanied by smiles and tears. I also wanted to talk about the wonderful wine and the tasty food I was eating. I wanted to express and distract myself in a balanced manner.  But what I realized is that not everyone is ready to deal with the raw sadness in these conversations. There were people who didn’t ask me what I was feeling and what I was going through, because they thought that would be uncomfortable for me. The intentions  are golden, but how they land in the heart of the griever ends up being different. And no matter how well you know someone, you don’t know what their response to death and grief will be.  Grief is extremely individualistic, and there is no right or wrong way to deal with it. If I was more of an introvert, I would have probably curled up into a shell and not wanted anyone to broach my feelings, my grief, my memories. People asking me questions and trying to engage in conversations around my feelings might have been intrusive to me. Empathy becomes extra tricky with grief, because you might want something completely different than the person you are dealing with, even if you are in his or her shoes.

There is a phrase ‘Move on’. In order to move on, I believe expression is as important as distraction. Talking about the past, memories, and what you miss,  does not indicate that you are not moving on. It can be thought of as a gateway to acceptance.  In order to truly accept the death of my parents, I had to let my heart hurt. The heart chakra holds grief, and it is impossible for the blockages in the heart chakra to get released, without expression. Without the heart hurting, the mind acts like it is just fine, but the mind is not in complete acceptance. It is a functioning cannon, but a loose one.  When the heart has let it all out, and comes to a place of peace, the mind becomes alert, focused and the best it can possibly be. The mind and the heart are equally beautiful and work in tandem to express an immortal soul.

There are angels and I feel blessed. I have no words to express my gratefulness towards the universe. But I will miss them, till the day I die. The way I miss them will evolve, but I will always miss them, and as an extrovert, I will keep them alive, through my various forms of expression.

So my one piece of insight to the world at large – Ask, don’t assume. Ask them what they need. Ask grievers if they want to be left alone. Ask them if they want to share memories. Ask them how you can be there for them, because you care deeply about them. Ask, if you have the bandwidth to respond to their needs. Be as kind, loving, compassionate and gentle as possible.

 

 

 

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