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pixie lighthorse / prayers of honoring grief

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Prayers of Honoring Grief is the third book of prayers by Earth Medicine Educator, Pixie Lighthorse.

Prayer is a means of connecting to our elevated natures during times of transition. It is during hardship that we can look both deep within and to the cosmic outskirts for guidance and wisdom. Prayer can connect us immediately and intimately to what we feel: what is current, and where the challenges are. It allows us the secure and quiet space to be able to honor what we value.

To honor is to acknowledge and to celebrate. While it may feel counterintuitive to celebrate pain, what you can celebrate is your ability to access your feelings. Your feelings function is a sense not unlike a muscle that asks you to consciously exercise it. The brain is a complex, plastic organ, and it is becoming ever more apparent how it can become hyper-vigilant, triggered by trauma, confused, disorganized, and overwhelmed. To thicken the plot even more, our nervous systems are operating at warp speed, and we are not yet fully equipped with the tools being modern requires in order to navigate through the obstacles of life.

Numbing out feelings due to overwhelm turns them off, and we become accustomed to moving through the world unconsciously, detached, and dissociated from them. As natural feelings of suffering and pain are acknowledged, your body will rejoice at its ability to be in the world as it is. The body is a magnificent thing: when its systems come back online, it can bring a feeling of relief as it begins to do its job as nature intended. The task is to create a mindset for the deeper processes to take place.

We are routinely cultured to “get on with it” from an early age, instructed not to waste time lingering in negativity. When the alternative is avoidance we actually become more fragile, though we are taught to believe the opposite. Grief remains in the systems of the body, informing our lives in subtle and subversive ways in the form of fear, anxiety, and depression. The whole map of our lives changes when grief is stored away silently. It directs our decisions, impairs or inflates our willingness to take risks, and continues to have its way with us. Toxic, amputated, dishonest, denied, neglected, mutated grief causes disharmony in the body and spirit.

Grief doesn’t bite. It is a natural and normal way of dispersing energy through the body’s wise and impeccable systems. It is not dangerous unless it is acted out in harmful and neglectful ways. Our thoughts around what grief should look like are the most surprising thing of all. How could it possibly be harmful to be honest about how one is feeling? It is simply the confession of what it was really like then and what it feels like now. It is not the plague of darkness it is made out to be. What a relief!

Nothing to grieve, have you? Look around. People are hurting everywhere. The earth is grieving the loss of her biodiversity; humankind is becoming rapidly more unwell due to environmental pollution and economic inequality; governments are undermining freedoms, privacy and liberties; overall mental health is in crisis. We are hooked on the speed of technology and hyper-stimulation. The opportunity to grieve, along with many other feelings, is available to you daily. Keep it moving. Let it blend seamlessly with your joy. It is not mania to feel deeply disappointed and laugh at the same time. We are deeper containers than we think we are. Make a conscious effort to discover how to hold both at the same time. Prayers of Honoring Grief walks the reader around the compass of life through 28 distinctive modes of suffering to help gracefully navigate the inner territory of what life is really like, rather than what it is idealized to be. The prayers in this book are designed to flow the reader through the process of grief, not skirt the edges of it with logic or reason. They will take you around the compass so that you have an opportunity to go all the way into the challenges grief presents and come through the other side to honor the wisdom and maturity of actualization. The promise of walking around the wheel of life is to leave no stone unturned where possible. If you miss something, it will invite you right back in when you make the final turn; there will always be opportunities to shed more layers as it goes round and round in a spiral all your living days and beyond.

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