In January of 2017, Bethany’s father passed away, and she was tossed into the deepest, darkest well she’d ever imagined—without warning or ceremony.
Something inside of her told her: “The only way out is to write.”
She started with a gratitude journal to remind herself of all of the people she should be grateful for in her life. She realized, however, that grateful people didn’t feel the way she felt — angry, anxious, depressed, confused, disillusioned, desperate (to name a few of grief’s cohorts).
Looking back, she realized that what she was actually doing was trying to avoid her grief.
Like many of us, she didn’t know that gratitude and grief are not mutually exclusive. She learned that she couldn’t skip over the emotions that make her uncomfortable and recognized that there is a complicated cocktail of emotions swirling inside each of us that makes us feel alive.
I talk to Bethany about the launch of her new book "Dipped In It," her odyssey into writing her book after the loss of her father, and the wisdom her emotions have brought to her life. Listen to her read a few excerpts and hear about how her daughters played a role in bringing her book to life.
In this episode we talk about:
- Postpartum depression & how this shared experience brought Bethany and I together after the birth of her daughter Ruby.
- The cracking open that happened after her divorce and then the death of Bethany’s beloved father.
- How the expression “Dipped In It” came to be and what it means to her.
- Our tendency to want to skip over difficult emotions or spiritually bypass the ones that have the most to teach us.
- Grief does not have an expiration date. There isn’t a specific time in which grief can be completed. It doesn’t work that way.
- Why sharing our stories with others is so vitally important and why daring to go within ourselves to dip into our own well of grief is where we can find the greatest treasures.
- How allowing ourselves to be where we are in our darkest human emotions is sometimes the greatest gift we can give ourselves.
- How normal it is for us to want to look like we have it all handled, but how much it can hurt us when we don’t tell people that we are struggling.
- Sometimes being a good friend is looking more closely at those around us and asking, “are you ok?” - because drowning doesn’t look like drowning, literally or metaphorically.
- It’s ok for us to normalize not being ok. We can’t always be ok. That’s not how life works.
- Grief and gratitude are not mutually exclusive. Our human emotions can exist within us simultaneously; all of it gets to belong.