After receiving some very heartfelt comments on my last post and reflecting on my personal experience with grief, I would like to discuss the importance of grieving loss. It took me twenty years to let go of a sorrow I had not dealt with properly. While trying to heal my broken heart from a failed relationship, I discovered I had not properly dealt with the death of my grandfather. Here are a few words on what I learned:
Grieving loss is extremely vital in the healing process. In order to move past the loss and approach life with passion, zest and a solid sense of self, we must address the loss we experience. Whether the loss is the death of a loved one, the death of a marriage (AKA divorce) or a life altering illness (death of a planned future), we must face and acknowledge the loss and deal with all of the emotions that come with it.
Mourning and grieving affect people differently. Some people cry. Some people argue. Some people drink. Some people have sex. Some people shout from the Facebook Mountain Top! While all of these things may help release tension in the moment, what is most effective long-term is taking time to think. Time to reflect. You need to uncover why you are so sad and lost. Are you lonely? Do you feel abandoned? Are you afraid you will never be loved again? Do you feel unworthy of love? What do you really want out of life? What would truly make you happy? As you address these questions, you may need to dig back, way back, through your life to get to the root of the answers. This is one of the reasons people often feel as if they are moving backward in the healing process; the feeling of being more lost and more lonely than before the healing process began. This is totally normal. Really, it is!
Here is what is happening: as you uncover why you feel a certain way about something, you are able to see how that has affected your life. These deep seeded issues affect how we treat others, how we treat ourselves and how we view the world. It is common to feel guilty that you didn’t recognize and address this earlier. If you find yourself holding on to guilt, you need to let it go. Holding on to it benefits no one. You need to forgive yourself. Part of this process is apologizing to those you have wronged. People may be receptive to your apology or they may not; and that is okay. The point is that you are taking ownership over your choices. You are taking control over the direction of your life.
Now, if the person you have wronged is yourself, then issue a heartfelt apology to yourself. Vow to make a change. Promise yourself you will treat yourself better. Forgive yourself and move forward. Continue on the healing path and allow yourself as much time as you need. Each person heals in their own time; there is no standard time frame. The important thing is that you keep going until you are able to release all of the things that have been weighing you down and holding you back.
Reading this, hell, knowing this, will obviously not change things overnight. The change starts with you. You have to want more for yourself. You have to be willing to take a hard look at your life and your choices. But honestly, you are amazing. You are. If the world hasn’t acknowledged you for it, it’s only because you are still holding back. You are amazing and you need to get comfortable with that fact. Be your authentic self and tackle your issues. I promise that if you move forward with the intent of living a life filled with love, passion and purpose, peace will find you. Just keep moving. Do not be discouraged by the length of time it takes. This process will yield one of the greatest gifts you will ever receive: inner peace and a deep love for yourself.