No one taught me how to deal with loss and grief – I just survived it.
I wish more people talked about this subject, but not enough folks talk about how to “get over it” when life deals a blow. #hardtimes 🙁
Maybe, it’s because most people simply don’t know hidden beauty of it all. Plus, what I’m proposing requires a mature mind and spirit.
The word “loss” denotes a subtraction; a deficit or a removal of something. It’s almost counter-intuitive to welcome or embrace saying “good-bye” to anything dear. But, we have to! We cannot interpret loss exclusively through a negative lens. No, this cannot be the only interpretation. If it is, we risk becoming bitter. That would be just…depressing.
Every experience has a benefit, but losing something dear is pregnant with so much more. It’s like the golden egg from the golden goose.
Think about it. In fact, let’s go one step further.
I want you to take a second (only a second) to reflect on a time of loss in your life. Close your eyes and remember such a moment you felt pick-pocketed by life.
What is your first, initial feeling?
Is it of pain? Or maybe you felt that little “thing” in the pit of your stomach or in the back of your throat that usually precedes tears. You know that feeling.
Now, quickly change emotional “lanes” as you remember that moment. Instead of focusing on the agony of that time in your life, I challenge you to think of the good you received during that season(s).
Did you grow stronger mentally, emotionally or spiritually? Did your prayer life come alive? Did that time propel you into a closer relationship with Christ or your family?
What did you learn about yourself during that season?
I know for me, life’s misfortune taught me to choose my friends a bit more carefully. Years ago, I learned whom I could count on when the chips are down and whom I could not. That’s good information to know, right?
My dad was gone
Another example, when dad passed away, I learned how blessed I was to actually have a father who loved me and accepted me. His passing also revealed to me that I was stronger than I ever thought I was. If, back then, someone would have told me I would be strong enough to leave a bad marriage, raise a child alone and even go on to educate myself, I would have thought them crazy. After all, I was daddy’s spoiled little girl. In troubled times, I ran straight to him. He always could “fix it” or, at the very least, say something to make me feel better. But, his passing on to glory, actually exposed (to me and the world) who I was at my core (a fighter) and what I was capable of doing and being. I honestly don’t think that could have happened had I not had my back up against that prickly wall of grief and sadness.
My job was gone
Let me share another example. Years ago, I had the best nonprofit job ever. The work was my passion because it birthed passion in me. My co-workers became friends – lifelong friends. They introduced me to yummy foods from around the world and taught me so much about trust, love and working as a team. When organizational funding dwindled, so did the job. I was devastated. But, out of it grew a consulting business that taught me how to plan, budget and run my own “show”. I consult to this day and make hundreds of dollars an hour because of that job. I’m eternally grateful.
I don’t have time to share the benefits I weaned from family troubles, marital discord and other seemingly bad things.
So, I challenge you. The next time you reflect on your losses, ask yourself the following:
“What blessing could this render for me?”
“How can this usher something terrific into my life?”
“What do I need to do to ensure this does not take me out for the count?”
Ok. That’s my mama mode.
Not let me slip into sister mode.
Sometimes the very thing you lost, you needed to lose. Put on your big girl panties and stop whining about it.
That man was no good for you and not good to you. Get over it. Did he nurture you? If he laid up in your house without contributing the security of a commitment, he was not. If he let you play “wifey”, but didn’t love you enough to share tax return (i.e. marry you), he was not.
If he made a baby with you before he honored you in marriage and a secure commitment; he was not. I’m not old-fashioned. This is just truth. It is the Word of God and you know it. Losing him was really an addition in your life. Now, God can add someone that loves you the way you deserve to be loved – completely, fully and in honor.
If you were late to your job and half-worked it because you hated it, you should be thanking the Lord it’s gone. He will provide as you trust Him and step out on faith.
If the car or house is gone because you couldn’t afford it, say “buh-bye” and keep it moving. Better things are ahead. That’s just stuff. Stuff can always be replaced.
Keep it moving, Honey. Exercise your faith. If you serve a God who runs out of blessings and restoration, you’re in trouble. Try Jesus. He never does. He always has a “next” and expecting what’s “next” is how to deal with loss and grief.
Does any of this make sense? Let me know.
Share this with someone.