archives, wisdom

It Is Important to Acknowledge Your Grief.


“You need to make grief sexy,” I had a friend tell me once.

We were planning a large community grief ritual and I’d been sharing about my ideas and visions for grief circles and how important it is, not just in death but in all the transitions in life. For our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.

This friend kept telling me that it was important work, but that it wasn’t going to work unless I made it sexy because no one wants to talk about grief.

You know what isn’t sexy?

Depression, feeling alone amidst heartbreak of all kinds, self-hatred, anxiety, addiction, debilitating shame, abuse, chronic PTSD symptoms, dysfunctional relationships, co-dependency and a painful separation from the source of life itself: love.

What’s perhaps more sexy is someone who is literate in the ways of their heart, knows how to court grief with love, compassion and kindness both for themselves and for others. Someone who can be with the human condition with genuine love, presence and compassion… to feel connected and not to make it other and separate or hold false, empty space.

It’s sexy to see the loss of the natural world and respond with an open heart rather than project our pain and shadow onto those unconsciously willing to hold it and hoping that someone else will do something about the state of the world, or save them from the pain of their lives, even if that’s a pill, addiction or dysfunctional relationships.

There are aspects of the human experience society simply has total disrespect for…

… like grief, addiction and shame. These things can sometimes be turned into marketing strategies to get people in on what we want to sell. We use the shadow to lure people in to our brand or webinar or class. It’s a thing, this making grief or shadow look sexy.

But real grief, real tragic addiction and brokenhearteness is pathologized and cast into the shadows, like Medusa, where we fear we will turn to stone if we enter. We don’t realize are throwing our power in there, right along with the shadows because what we ignore and cast aside ends up having great power over us.

What we are disowning keeps us from being free.

Grief unacknowledged becomes shadow selves because the wound needs to express itself to resolve itself. We can paste as many affirmations on it as we want, but it prolongs us from real freedom.

Addiction is a shamed experience in a culture that is riddled with so much addiction that the earth herself is starting to reflect to us the state of our addiction consciousness.

One myth about grief work is that it is somehow separate from light work. That, to court grief, to be grieving, to be doing grief work, means we are living in darkness, mired in shadow or always in pain.

This is not true.

Grief is a result of bringing love down into the parts of our hearts that have not been loved.

It is the healing energy that is love that moves pain out of our bodies. It is a radical healing experience that can actually bring people together and foster deeper understanding, connection and sense of oneness in a world that breaks us apart, isolates us and has us feeling ashamed if we are in pain, haven’t figured it all out or are, in some way, human.

It, like all things, is impermanent once it has done its work on us.

Grief is human, it re-humans us.

It makes us humane in an inhumane world.

It is a natural reaction to loss and change, to the state of the world that is littered, on fire, flooding, and where children are killing other children because they are in so much pain and no one is even looking… because, you know… we are in denial of the fact that unmetabolized grief is what is running the state of affairs all around the world.

Your heart matters. How you feel is important. Your grief is important. Whatever addiction or relational pattern or habit you are trying to heal from. Whatever trauma you are overcoming and working to transform into a thriving life. Whatever disappointment or failed expectation of the past you are working through. Whatever intense reflection midlife is showing you. Whatever illness you are grieving.

However impermanence is showing up in your life, it has the power to make you feel whole again because there is an energy, a divine spark of life, that runs through the veins of your soul that cannot, will never be destroyed… and that is love.

And, you know what’s sexy?

Love is.
So are your mental health and spiritual well-being.


Dr. Nandi Hetenyi is a psychospiritual healer, soul mentor and writer. She has carved out her own path based on 20+ years of clinical experience and an equal amount of time studying and practicing Buddhism, yoga, meditation, shamanic healing, ritual and energy healing. After recovering herself from addiction and experiencing an awakening to her soul, she fused her knowledge of psychology and trauma with both her studied and lived experience of shamanic and Buddhist healing modalities, creating an innovative approach to healing the soul wound at the root of so much addiction, shame and ongoing trauma. You can follow Dr. Hetenyi on Instagram and find out more about her work on her website.


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