We have all dealt with lose at some point in our lives.
Sometimes it’s a belonging, sometimes a job, sometimes it’s someone who meant a lot to us.
Whatever the loss it can carry anger, hurt, guilt and many other emotions.
But how do you move past the emotions. How do you let go and move forward with your life?
The first and most important thing to do is feel.
Let yourself feel the emotion, even if you lost your favourite jacket and you feel silly for being so upset about it.
Cry over it if you need to, scream into a pillow or talk to your best friend.
However you need to let it out is fine (as long as it doesn’t hurt you or someone else), but let it out.
When you try and hold in the emotion or suppress it, it follows you.
It may not be in your immediate line of sight BUT IT WILL FOLLOW YOU.
The hurt will always stay there just waiting for a trigger to bring it up.
This is especially relevant at the end of a relationship. We can still be happy we ended a relationship or a friendship with someone, knowing that it is for the better, but still be hurt by it.
We may still need to grieve the absence of that person from our lives. The fact that you are sad or upset about not having a person in your life does not mean that you are forgiving them or going back to them. It just means they were something special in your life and it’s sad to see that go.
Sometimes that sadness revolves more around the dreams of future you had with the person, as opposed to the person themselves.
Whatever or wherever the feelings are coming from let them be what they are.
By not supressing the feeling we can move more quickly to acceptance. The continuing nature of grief is due to the resistance of accepting that state and allowing the grief to expend itself. When we choose to surrender to grief, it eventually runs out.
We cry for 10 to 20 minutes, then we pick ourselves up, next time we may cry for 10 minutes, the next five. By allowing the feeling to be expressed it begins to reduce. The control the emotion has over us dies down and the feeling of courage grows - “I can get over this” “I will get over this” “I have been here before and I made it through”. Courage is much more uplifting and energizing then running from the hurt (negative) emotion.
Running from an emotion (or suppression) can be done it many ways, these can include: over eating, under eating, a false sense of happiness and pretending to be positive about everything, over indulging in alcohol and/or sex. It is okay to admit you are sad and/or hurt, you don't have to pretend like everything is okay.
It is important to understand that letting go of the feeling of grief does not mean forgetting about a person or an object. You can still remember a lost love one, but instead of being a blubbering mess when you do you have the ability to remember the person fondly.
Sometimes when we let go of situations, people or belongings we need to do it slowly.
Break it down. What are you actually going to miss. Take for example losing a job.
Will you miss the commute?
Will you miss the smell of coffee in the kitchen?
Will you miss seeing your colleagues every day?
Will you miss your uniform?
As you slowly break it down you are able to let go of the insignificant pieces of the picture, and then work on letting go of the important ones.
This task can also give you perspective. Sometimes when we lose something we view it differently. As human beings we often want what we don’t have and we tend to look back on the past fondly and have a distorted perception of how things really where.
It could be that when you look back you realize that you actually hated your job and there was little you enjoyed…maybe being fired wasn’t such a bad thing at all.
Letting yourself feel the emotion will help you see the opportunity in the loss a lot faster and also allow you to pin point what you really like. Maybe what you are actually sad about losing is the community feel about the office. That allows you to set your criteria for your next job; it must have a community feel. It also means you can mitigate the loss. Say it is the community feel, you can make sure you stay in touch with your colleagues. Problem solved.
This can also be really helpful when it comes to the letting go of a relationship, ask yourself what is it that this person gave to you that you don’t want to let go of?
Did they make you feel important?
Did they make you feel heard and appreciated?
Through this understanding you are able to find something new to fill those needs…if you do it productively you will learn to fill the needs yourself.
Next weeks blog will be looking at reducing the potential grief you may feel at points in your life.
Stay tuned x