As I write the chapters for my book, “The Next Step,” I am reminded of the many losses people face within their lifetime. Some are a normal part of life. But many are unexpected, traumatic and devastating.
The last thing you wanted was to lose your baby, or your marriage or your health that impairs your ability to earn a living. When hit with such major losses or tragedies, we can’t imagine that life can ever be considered normal again.
Think of soldiers who come home with the loss of arms or legs or PTSD nightmares. Or a parent who is told their child has a terminal illness after waiting for years to have that child. Or a teacher who discovers she has a slow degenerative disease that will take every ounce of effort to continue working to support herself.
As great as the death of a loved one, chronic illness can seem like a slow death sentence. Living with severe health restrictions is a struggle few of us experience. Losing a beloved child, born or yet to be born, can be devastating. Losing your ability to make a living, tragic. Losing the ability to see there are options even more tragic.
There are many losses that crash into our lives like the waves of a powerful storm.
The loss of your home, your job, your financial security – all can seem like the end of the world. Where do we go from here?
Part of grieving is coming to terms with what has happened. If an accident or senseless act of violence has taken a loved one, you will struggle with the enormity of those events.
And yet, it is precisely here and in the worst circumstances where we are asked to accept and let go – let go of what was important and valuable to us.
How can you accept such awful and life shattering circumstances?
In order to accept and let go, we need to understand what acceptance means. Coming to terms with our tragedy is not resignation. Letting go does not mean it wasn’t important. We may not get the justice we feel we deserve, but in letting go, we can take the next step needed to create a new positive reality.
Acceptance and letting go does not mean you let go of what your loss meant to you; it means you will work with it and go beyond it. You do not need to remain stuck in that place of mourning forever. The loss and its meaning can be integrated safely into our memories if we allow it.
Unwanted change, tragedies or losses of any kind can seem overwhelming. Working through the endless tangles of emotions and thoughts, we often feel as though we will never see the sun of joy again, never experience happiness, laughter, contentment or satisfaction. But we do.
Over the following weeks, the focus of my blogs will be on how we can accept, let go and reframe our situations so we can take that next step in life, finding the options that will help us create a new reality that brings with it the possibility for peace, hope, contentment and joy.
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