Being in the loss and the lost is how to move forward, how to grow, how to thrive. I recently returned from a weekend retreat where the overriding theme was around loss and grief. It was not the intended theme; however, the facilitator allowed whatever came up in the group to define the process. It was a profound weekend of healing and sharing with a number of the participants dealing with grief around the loss of parents, siblings, or partners; some recent, some long-held.
One of the participants had recently received devastating news about her health. As a busy and capable mother, wife, and coach she was struggling to deal with it.
“I feel so lost,” she said. “I don’t know the way forward with this.” Tears glistened in her beautiful blue-green eyes.
The facilitator gently replied, “I invite you to just be in the lost.”
How to Move Forward
As humans, we are constantly seeking answers and wanting logical solutions to everything. Usually, Google—the God of Knowledge as the facilitator refers to it, can help out with just about anything.
This participant racked her brains as to how she could have “created” this dis-ease in her body. What had she done “wrong” to have warranted such an awful fate?
Our thoughts can eat us alive. We live in a world where we are constantly told to be more, do more, strive strive strive! But we are not superheroes, we are human, and being human means experiencing it all, both the pleasant and the unpleasant. Being in the lost and the loss is how we move forward, how we grow, how we thrive.
We are living in unprecedented times. Where much of what was known and familiar has been ripped away and we are left to cope with multi-levels of grief; over deaths of loved ones, lost businesses, income, lifestyle, dreams, and plans. We really need to stop and process these emotions. We need to be in the lost and the loss.
Strategies to Keep Moving Forward
Suppressing emotions is one of the most dangerous things we can do to ourselves because suppressing them doesn’t mean they go away or dissipate. Instead, we internalize them and ignore them. We tell anyone who asks “I’m fine” (which we all know means Frigging Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional) and we soldier on. But, in the meantime, those suppressed emotions grow, expand, and intensify.
The ONLY way to deal with emotions is to be in them. Not numb them or distract them with various addictions. Be in the lost and the loss. Admit you don’t know the answer or the way forward. That you are afraid, overwhelmed, angry. Simply allow the way you are feeling, acknowledge the fear, cry out the pain, allow the frustration. Find ways to do this – punch a pillow, scream out loud (the car, while you are driving, is a really good place for this, I’ve found), journal, talk to someone, get help, allow yourself to be vulnerable, and say “I’m struggling”.
Grow and Thrive
We are not Superheroes, we are human, and being human means experiencing it all; both the pleasant and the unpleasant. Being in the loss and the lost is how we move forward, how we grow, how we thrive.
Guide, Di Atherton on Grief