How Do We Deal with All this Grief?

So many of us are experiencing grief. We lament how life has changed in recent years. We are experiencing the uncertainty of the future. There are so many challenges ahead of us.

A friend of mine, who was active a few weeks ago, is bedridden and can’t do much for herself. Another is experiencing the loss of a family member, and others are the loss of important relationships. A parent tells me how her child is growing and her sense of family connection has changed. An elderly person grieves because he doesn’t have the same capacity to achieve goals and doesn’t feel like he is contributing to the world. People are missing the connections of colleagues they once experienced at work, as well as the sense of a doable pace of work. Others are suffering due to climate change resulting in flooding and fires. We see the impact of war, isolation, and big and small changes.

We know that things are always changing and will be different. It is easy to want to distract ourselves, so we do not have to feel the pain or sadness as things change. We stay busy or procrastinate, eat, blame others, engage in social media, overwork, and watch TV to avoid our grief. However, when we do not become aware of our experience and attend to our emotions, we put our energy into resisting what is. It is like holding down a beach ball under the ocean. It takes our strength and energy. Instead, if we let go of our holding and resisting, the ball could flow easily.

It is easy to want to avoid feeling the loss of what once was or what we hoped for. Ironically, when we face our disappointments, and acknowledge and accept our emotions, we are in a much better place to see possibilities and to take action. I know that it is not fun to feel our sadness, disappointment, or grief.  However, when we name our emotions and accept them, we are better positioned to be choiceful in our next steps.

In fact, we are able to experience more joy when we awaken to, attend and accept our full range of emotions. It takes intention and practice to embrace our humanness and the whole of life, yet it is worth the effort. In addition, appreciating current moments and savoring what we enjoy, knowing that we can’t hold onto things is valuable. Have hope that when we accept our grief, we will embrace our hope for the future. We will be more confident in our actions. Ideally, we will inspire others to do the same on this life journey. We need to recognize that we are all experiencing challenges and a range of emotions.

Take a moment to awaken to what is happening and accept ‘what is.’ Attend to your emotions, accept and name them. Identify possibilities and then take action. Above all, be kind to yourself and others.

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