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You know that feeling you get when something you wanted to make happen, didn’t? Or when you put yourself out there to be vulnerable and it seems like it backfires? These moments, relationships, and experiences are a form of loss. No matter what kind of loss we have, there is a process we go through that helps us deal with it. For me, even in my lowest moments of loss, I have always reframed the purpose of the loss.
Reframing loss begins with having a good understanding of your beliefs about life. If you aren’t sure what you believe about life, or up to now, your beliefs don’t leave room for much positivity, consider asking yourself, “what did I learn about who I am, from this loss?” Again, if your first thoughts lean toward the negative, take a breath and a moment, and really reflect on the whole situation and not in any shame or guilt you may feel. There is most assuredly at LEAST one positive thing you can learn about yourself, your strength, and indeed your own resiliency. It’s okay to start small, as that is how it goes. People who you look up to because they seem to have things figured out, are likely more seasoned and have done the work to get them to a point of moving through loss in a different way. Know that you too can do you work, and learn how to get to a higher level within yourself. Keep at it! Connect with people you feel good around, or those who aspire to be like.
The other key is to know that any of this good stuff requires action...healing, love, forgiveness, growth, reaching goals, getting over someone, being a better person, setting boundaries, taking your meds, getting enough sleep, having fun...the list is endless.
Years of doing this helped when I had two major losses within a short period of time; the loss of my father and daughter. Personal loss on this level, reaches a depth of sadness that requires professional support and an understanding that grief has no timeline. It will be an ongoing journey of accepting the reality and moving through your feelings as you need to. What has softened the devastating blow, is knowing that I am doing my work. I believe that all things in life happen for reasons and that life is happening for me. If I believe this, then it’s my responsibility to bring this belief alive, through action, even in the darkest of times.
Milder forms of loss, which can still bring us to deep depths of sadness (often we will use anger as a mask as it’s easier to be angry...being sad is definitely not a fun place to be in) will require us to call on our strength. Depending on where you are in your healing journey, you may need some professional help to process your feelings and build your inner resiliency. If you are considering reaching out for help, I encourage you to take that step. Loss does not have to darken your edges permanently and leave you feeling unhealed and open wounded. Take the time to take your time, and invest in yourself. Reframe life, reframe loss, do your work, and you will bloom in ways you never expected!
Carolyn is a passionate advocate for self awareness and personal growth and is loving her role as curriculum developer at mindyourmind! She is originally a child and youth care practitioner who has worked front line with children, youth, and their families. Carolyn is enjoying where life is taking her and cannot wait to see what happens next!
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