Consolation and Care for You in Times of Grief
Universal Compassionate Mother
Grief or intense sorrow during the holidays can be a huge burden on our hearts and affect our holidays as we ache for broken relationships and grieve for pets and loved ones who have died. It doesn’t matter when the loss happened, grief is grief. Missing those who have passed on or those who no longer live near us can change our focus. Grief can cause us to stare at and singularly focus on the pain of loss. We feel, cry, sigh and move through the aches. Small things such as a picture, a song, a smell, or even someone we glimpse in the grocery store who resembles our loved one can cause our hearts to initially leap then crash into deep sadness and longing. Comforting ourselves in the midst of sorrow during the holidays can ease these burdens and soothe our minds and hearts. It doesn’t take herculean strength, rather, small actions such as prayer or a nap often bring much-needed comfort and care to our souls.
Prayer can refocus our grief during the stress of the holidays. For example, communities in Mexico and Central America believe in the Blessed Mother Mary of Guadalupe. On December 12, 1531, Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to a Native American Indian peasant named Juan Diego. The Blessed Mother asked that a little house or church be built on the hill of Tepeyac in Mexico City. As a sign to the doubting Bishop, Our Lady of Guadalupe left behind an image of herself imprinted on Juan Diego’s cloak, or tilma. It was made of poor quality cloth that should have deteriorated within decades. Rather, 488 years later, the cloak shows no signs of decay and its colors and image remain brilliant, beautiful and bright. In this image, Our Lady of Guadalupe is with child, and this imagery symbolizes great hope. Her message of comfort and consolation has been experienced and shared through millions of people over hundreds of years.
Anyone can ask for help and pray with the Universal Compassionate Mother of us all. Essential oils have long been used to help people pray and comfort those feeling deep sorrow and grief. We can deepen our prayer experience by anointing ourselves with essential oil. You can even invite a friend or two to pray with you. A blend of Rose Otto, Geranium and Cypress is one of the blends I use regularly for deep sorrow. If you don’t have Rose Otto you can use Bergamot or Vanilla. Mix 2 or 3 of these oils in a 2% dilution in half an ounce of vegetable oil and place a few drops on a tissue to inhale. You can also massage your hands and feet with your oil blend and place a few drops over your heart and forehead. Inhaling authentic aromas from these plants connects us to the earth and helps us console our hearts and souls. Essential oils won’t erase our grief, but they will be an important aid as we seek grace, comfort and relief.
May the words of Our Lady of Guadalupe comfort us now and always in our times of stress and deep sorrow.
Am I not here who am your Mother? Are you not under my shadow and my protection? Am I not your source of joy? Are you not in the folds of my mantle, and in the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else that you need?
In the journal Medical Anthropology Quarterly.https://doi.org/10.1111/maq.12372, Mexican immigrants living in rural Mississippi and who are highly devoted to the Blessed Mother of Guadalupe coped better with immigration-related stress than those less devoted to the Mexican belief of the Universal Mother.
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