As I start this new business I am reminded that is has been almost a year since I left my job to begin my new work. It still amazes me the direction it is now taking. I was reflecting recently about grief as a normal cycle of life. The grief that arises when you leave a long time job, even if it was stressful and no longer serves your higher goals or purpose in life. Or the grief you feel when a relationship changes or ends. Or the grief you feel when you lose a job unexpectedly. Each time your life does not proceed in a way you expected or wanted it to, there can be grief. We don’t often look upon these types of occasions as times of grief. We may be told that everything happens for a reason, better times are ahead, or just to get over it. None of that is helpful when there is grief. How can you meet grief that is a normal cycle of life? I offer a few suggestions below.
When you lose a job, end a relationship or your life takes some other unexpected turn,
name it as grief, as a loss, as something or someone you will miss. Take some time to feel the feelings that this loss evokes.
What are some ways you can make space and time to let these feelings in?
Honor your feelings.
Everyone has their own way of processing feelings, and feelings about grief are no different. If you feel sad, let yourself cry. Write about your feelings. Sometimes capturing your feelings in your journal can give you some perspective. How might you honor your feelings in a way that feels true to who you are?
Give yourself the time you need to process your grief.
No one knows how long it will take you to shift your feelings, not even you. By diligently attending to your feelings and your process, one day you feel a shift, receive a new insight or awareness and see things differently. Allow yourself to acknowledge these new insights when they come.
When you allow yourself to process grief in the normal course of your life, you will gain understanding into how you process grief when it is a bigger grief experience. A friend shared with me the observation that all the everyday grief experiences are practice for when we face bigger grief experiences.
How can you honor your everyday sorrows so you can become more adept at feeling these feelings?
Be open to surrender and let go when it feels right to do so. Hanging on to things from our past that no longer serve us keeps us from being in the present moment. When we don’t honor our own grieving processes we tend to hold on to things, hoping our experience will change and things will go back to being the way they were. What are some ways you can surrender what no longer serves you? How do you know you are ready to surrender old stuff?
When we are able to grieve those everyday occurrences in a way that honors where we are we can then move through those experiences and be ready and open to receive whatever is coming our way next. For instance, if we are constantly wondering why we lost our job and rehashing what happened, we may not see the next new possibility that is just around the corner. Staying open requires we stay present.
How can you stay present?
What has worked for you in the past?
I’d love to hear what you think.