Obviously not all losses are equal, but everyone is bound to lose and keep losing pieces of the self throughout life. It starts by losing the protective bubble we are born out of and later, losing a favourite toy, losing teeth is quite painful and losing affection of a parent when we are punished, losing faith in family or friends, losing property, losing a spouse, a child, a parent, or losing our youth as health deteriorates.
While each one of these losses often seems fatal at the time, recognising the steps of your feelings and allowing them to play out as you need to ultimately let go of the negatives can help to ease the process next time around.
To find peace and balance we can consider the following steps during periods of grief:
Feel The Feelings
Often people will attempt not to acknowledge their raw feelings to the full extent with the idea that attempting to not think about the reality will mean they can avoid getting stuck in a loop of comparison of what was and what is. This resistance is a key factor to consider.
Think of it like a roadblock, emotions get stuck in our bodies creating heaviness that is carried around when not expressed in an open and honest way. So make an attempt to talk about your feelings with those close to you and acknowledge the multitude of emotions you may feel whether sorrow, anger, abandonment, loneliness, regret, fear or any number of potential thoughts running through your brain. Know you are not alone and are not the first or only person feeling this emotion.
It doesn’t make it any easier, but it does mean it is part of being a human and we build our understanding of life slowly as the years go by. Loss and the emotions that come from it are a part of life and love. Sometimes letting go becomes easier, sometimes it is just as hard the 10th time around but either way it’s ok to feel how you do.
After spending time acknowledging all of the negative emotions, at some point in order to move forward you will need to find some more positive alternatives to lighten the load.
This could be remembering positive stories, thinking of the strength you have gained as a positive, taking the good from the time you had or treating your new reality as a chance for change. Discovering new paths and new dimensions of yourself can be a positive outcome from grief or loss, when you can allow yourself to think of them as such.
This stage will teach you the stability and strength to be able to deal with the same emotions the next time in as positive a way as possible. The key is to be able to feel the pain without it completely derailing you.
Expanding awareness toward freedom
After going through the painful grieving process, finding some positive alternative approaches when acknowledging your loss, now you need to understand that you are allowed to move forward without guilt.
Being liberated from the heaviness of constant thought should be the goal. You should know that this isn’t the same as forgetting and there is no reason to feel guilt, it is simply a change in the way you interact with your new reality. The feelings are still there, but it is time for you to drive them rather than them driving you.
Again, recognise the positives and find some new ways to fill the void that has been left, from new hobbies to seeing old friends.
The everlasting and transformational changes that can come with extreme grief or loss will be the healing itself. Think of your progress as an expansion of the previous you and the courage to free yourself from the attachment as a sign of the strength your spirit.
Strengthening the spirit
Once you have come to the awareness that the initial feelings will soften, you can begin to recognise that your spirit and resolve are now stronger than they were. Along with your inner capacity to endure, confidence and trust in oneself increases, and the ability to choose a different perspective to turn each loss into a rebirthing experience.
It is not an easy challenge to come at hard times with positive perspectives, but knowing you can get through terrible situations; feel them to the fullest, but know that you will be liberated shortly is a superpower that each next loss is sharpening.