Grief usually signals feelings of sadness and despair. You may not be sure what to do with your emotional pain let alone determining why or what it is. Yet loss with the emotional distress is a part of life and it is a part that most people want to ignore or wish away. Yet it is real and taking the time to grieve and time to heal is powerful and restorative for us all.
When you experience a loss in life, it can shake you to the core, but a loss doesn’t just mean the death of a loved one. It can also include losing a job, pet, or even an opportunity you were really hopeful about. The truth is, you can experience grief for all sorts of reasons.
Perhaps you have put your grief on hold due to the worldwide pandemic and have not taken the time to grieve. Yet, the heartache remains. Your heavy thoughts and feelings may linger festering in unusual ways which may be causing conflict with others, poor choices, procrastination, and other things.
Time Pressure to Move Past Grief
Regardless of any reason with grieving, there’s typically a pressure to move on as soon as possible. This pressure may come from others’ expectations as well as your own. Often you may be “on the clock” to move past grief in order to tend fully to your life and responsibilities. That’s easier said than done and is quite overwhelming.
When you’re in a state of mourning, pushing the grief aside and ignoring it might sound like the best option. After all, if you don’t think about it, it’ll go away, right? But, while the line of thinking may work for some things, grief isn’t one of them. Instead, taking the courage to be patient with yourself and taking the time to heal is of great value to your mental health.
Below are some insights that will help you understand why reflective time, understanding, self-compassion, and hope are very necessary to help you through your grieving.
The Stages Of Grief Aren’t Linear
There’s a misconception that the stages of grief need to be completed in order, but this isn’t the case. Despite a numerical system behind the stages, these steps don’t come in a logical order. In reality, these stages often come in waves and sometimes repeat themselves. For instance, you may initially begin your grief journey with acceptance, then denial, then anger, back to acceptance.
While humans process things better in steps, grief is not something that can be formulated. It can take time and that amount of time varies from person to person but it should never be forced. When forcing yourself to accept things or move on, you’re just hiding or rejecting your feelings and not really coping. Instead, let them flow through you as a way of coping and overcoming the grief.
Don’t Give Your Emotions a Timeline
In life, we often give ourselves a timeline for a variety of things. Emotions related to grief is no exception. Whether you’re feeling sorrow, anger, or anxiety, it’s common for people to try and push these emotions aside. Grieving doesn’t adhere to any specific time frame and how we cope shouldn’t either.
There are no rules in life that say, “You can only feel sadness for X amount of time, then you need to move on.” Giving yourself time to process the emotions surrounding grief is a challenge, but remember, it isn’t a race. Every loss in life affects each person differently and must be handled as a unique situation. So, when we say a time to grieve and a time to heal, these are necessities along life’s journey.
Blame, doubt, fear, shame, and struggling with the “what ifs” is very common in grief. Practicing self-compassion is essential
when coping with loss. It’s hard to not feel frustrated when you are dealing with emotions and loss, but self-compassion helps you accept these things in your own time.
Allow yourself the time and energy needed to work through any past hurt from or to related to the loss. For example, when we loose a loved one, there may be unresolved issues on either end. Going through the process of forgiving the other or yourself is paramount to your healing. Further, as with regards to your pet, allow yourself to remember your pet and know your love you shared in what you did for them. Let yourself understand you did everything you could to make that opportunity for yourself happen, but it just wasn’t meant to be. Whatever your situation may be, give yourself love and, most importantly, time to heal.
If you are struggling to overcome a loss in your life, please contact us for grief counseling today to help you find healing.