“Heartbreak is part of the human condition—if it comes off the table, so does love itself. Vulnerability is what makes life worth living; without it, we’d lack meaning and purpose.” ~ Douglas Brooks
Beyond the obvious and devastatingly tragic loss of a loved one through death, loss and its associated grief can be experienced when you:
- lose your job or end a career,
- move through a divorce, or end a relationship
- experience an illness that claims your ability to fully participate in life
- lose a position of importance in your community,
- experience a decline in financial status,
- endure trauma or abuse,
- suffer from addiction or mental illness,
- lose your home or
- encounter the limitations and challenges of aging.
Your Grieving Process Has No Timetable
In the death of a loved one, there are established rituals and expected support that help you move through the grieving process. But when it comes to loss that doesn’t involve death, the deep grief and struggle that follows, the space and time to heal and understand the pain, grief and lessons are rarely embraced. Even though loss of any kind can profoundly impact your sense of place in the world and your feeling of well-being, you are often expected to simply pick up the pieces of your life and ‘soldier on’ soon after the experience.
The Many Layers of Loss and Grief
Loss is a multi-layered trauma that endures beyond the actual event. It also takes a complex emotional toll that emerges from the deeper effects of loss over time that include issues of self-worth, identity, problems with trust, safety and security, the challenges of rebuilding shattered hopes, dreams and sense of personal purpose. If it is a debilitating illness or mental health problem, it can steal your independence and isolate you from community.
Tips for Healing Your Grief
- Identify: Accept that you have experienced a loss and embrace the associated emotions. Acknowledge any anxiety, worry, guilt, regret, anger, shame, sadness you might feel and also embrace the healed perspectives of happiness, peace, hope and being able to embrace new possibilities.
- Release: In the messy confusion and unpleasantness that is part of grief, take time to journal your feelings, and find music that expresses your emotions. In a safe place, let yourself cry, yell, or use physical exercise to help release the feelings. Breathwork to support your healing is a profound and effective tool to consider.
- Reflect: Find self-help books, meditate, go for long walks or spend quiet time that will support your grief and let your inner wisdom point the way to next steps to take.
- Reach Out: Consider finding a grief counselor or talk with a close friend who will listen without fixing. Allow the comfort of support to help you find hope and possibility in the future.
- Self-Care: Be kind to yourself. Eat well, get regular massages, learn to say ‘no’ when you are not feeling strong enough to socialize, and be gentle with yourself if your grief and sadness erupt in public.
- Find Inspiration: Save pictures, quotes, videos that inspire you and use them to support you on days when you are deeply processing your grief. Use Affirmations as reminders to provide new perspectives.
- Be grateful: Begin a gratitude journal and add at least one item every day – no matter how small of insignificant it seems.
8. Forgive: Healing involves forgiveness of self and others for the loss. Seek support in such processes as Breathwork or counseling to help you release guilt, shame, self-judgment /criticism and to let go of any blame and resentment toward others. Affirmations and forgiveness mediations are useful to help in this release process.
9. Grief is love. Consider that the grief over your loss could not have happened if you had not loved what you lost. Acknowledge your deep connection and love to your loss and accept the privilege of having experienced that depth of love in the first place.
Grief is Part of Life
The grieving process is a necessary and unique bridge to healing that helps you cope with uninvited change and that joins your loss to a transformed future.
When loss of any kind is experienced, your heart can break wide open. Through the grieving process, you can heal and find a new way for your life. In the end, it adds to your awareness, understanding and compassion and can be the catalyst for your own growth and a richer connection to others.
Taken from a very supportive and informative website:
What ways have you handled grief and loss in your life? Feel free to leave a comment and share with others your thoughts on ways to deal with grief and loss.
Visit www.johnstamoulos.com to find out more about the healing power of your breath through the powerful process of Breathwork.