Mourning vs. Grieving Generally I feel called to write about the emotions that I felt during the first year of my healing process. Today, if you will allow me, I want to share where I am right now. If your wound is still fresh, the insights that I have recently received may not apply to you yet, but I think they are still worth reading. I certainly would have benefited from these words had someone spoken them to me a few months ago. So just put them away for later. You can reach back into your memory file for them when you are ready. Several months ago I was asked to write about my experience as a betrayed spouse for Affair Recovery’s blog. I should tell you that I felt like the most unlikely choice for this. Not only had I never written anything other than an occasional letter, but I also had never even read a blog. In fact, at the time we didn’t even have internet at our house. But, even with all that, in my heart I knew that sharing my experience with you was right because of the longing that I have to come alongside those who are feeling the pains of betrayal and offer you some hope. Hope that is found in realizing you are not alone and in discovering there is life after pain. Not just an “I’m making it” kind of life, but life that is abundant and wonderful. So, with that in mind I stepped over the obstacles and jumped in with both feet. Looking back I can see where I went wrong. As I had begun to look back at everything that I had experienced, my focus was on the pain that was rather than on the healing that is. After healing has taken place, remembering about past pain can be a good thing when I remember the beauty that was brought out of the ashes of our broken hearts. But after healing, I found that simply dwelling on past hurt can be dangerous. It was a danger that I was not aware I should be on guard against. After about a year of relative happiness and grief-free living, I felt like I was going through yet another mourning season. If you had asked me what I was mourning I would not have been able to tell you, I just felt sad and angry. I have already written about the importance of feeling our pain, and how dangerous it is to stuff our emotions, so I can see how this may sound like a bit of a contradiction. Please bear with me as I try to explain. Our Healer loves us so much He wants nothing more than to hold us as we cry out our pain. In the most tender way He is able to speak straight to the deepest hurt and whisper comfort to us. But once He has healed us we are healed completely, so it would stand to reason that further healing and comfort is no longer needed. After I shared the pain that I was once again feeling with one of my mentors she explained to me the difference between mourning and grieving. Mourning has a beginning, middle, and end. We know that our mourning is over when it has been changed to dancing. But a spirit of grief has no end. It just reminds us of past hurt, keeping us in a constant state of sadness. This may sound as strange to you as it did to me. In fact, I had to chew on this one for a few days before I recognized the truth that she had offered me. There is incredible freedom found in understanding the difference between mourning and grieving. You see, before I was healed I was given triggers as a gift to remind me that I was still wounded and in need of my Healer. They served to guide me into the mourning that brings comfort. But now I have been healed, so they no longer have the same purpose. Now my occasional trigger is an opportunity to dance. I am invited to dance for the joy of a heart that is healed, for the excitement of an adventurous life, and for the miracle of two divided hearts that can now as one come together and enjoy life to its fullest. I dance not just because of the incredible healing that has taken place in our life, but because in the process of being healed we came to know our Healer in a special and intimate way we otherwise would not have known Him. Alright readers, now it is your turn. Where are you in the process? Are you still in the mourning season? If so, do you know if you are in the beginning, or somewhere in the middle? If you are still in mourning, let me encourage you not to rush through it. Sit in it. Mourn it till you find the healing your heart so desperately desires. Are you healed? Has your healing brought you to a place of dancing? Please share. I would love to read your comments.