There is absolutely no pain like loss. I can still remember the initial ache as if it happened yesterday. Its a pit-of-your-stomach, someone knocked the wind out of you, lump in your throat, hole in your heart kinda pain and it doesn’t just go away overnight. It doesn’t simply get better with time. Actually, it has a tendency to get worse before it gets better. It can force you into the depths of despair, if you let it, and most of the time it will.
But, in the true spirit of human resilience, that pit of despair can morph into a new beginning, but first, you have to be hungry for it. In order to fully accept the new beginning, one must come to the end of themselves. As the brilliant Oswald Chambers stated, “I indeed am at the end, and I cannot do anything more— but He begins right there— He does the things that no one else can ever do.” Its an, “I indeed…but He…,” mentality. We have to come to the end of ourselves before He can begin a healing work in our lives. But, its so much easier said than done.
When we encounter a difficult situation we have the choice to dwell on it, or accept it and push through. Getting real with ourselves, regarding our circumstances, is the first step to pursuing healing and creating the life we desire. When faced with loss, it is natural to feel powerless, but actually you have control.
The grieving community must rethink the, “There is no wrong way to grieve,” belief in order to push forward. In my own experience, this belief accomplished more harm than good. There was a time when I wanted to grieve however I desired and didn’t care who was affected.
I believe there are two emotional tendencies in the grief community. They are self-pity and empowerment. Chances are, if you have lost a loved one, you will experience both of these tendencies at some point during your grief. But, there is a better way to grieve and I promise, if you reject an attitude of self-pity, you will be better for it.
Where are you now? And how is your current belief system serving you?
Self-pity is powerful. It keeps us from moving forward, fully grieving, and living our best life. It allows us to maintain a perpetual state of anger, sadness, fear, and ignorance regarding our loss. Self-pity succumbs to vices in order to numb the pain of daily life. And, it slashes self-confidence by believing the lie that loss has left us eternally damaged.
But, self-pity is lacking; there is much it is incapable of doing, such as:
– Bring your loved one back.
– Change the past.
– Speed up the grieving process.
– Erase regrets.
But, the good news is, this does not have to be you…you have a choice. You can be empowered.
Empowered people strive to focus on the positive aspects of their situation. They realize they cannot change the past and choose to live for the future. They will cry over their loss and they will surely grieve, but they do not allow their grief to define them. They seek joy, create goals, and pursue relationships. Although they dislike the pain, they welcome it, knowing that feeling it leads to healing. Lastly, they live their lives in remembrance of their loved ones and honor them with their pursuit of life. They believe that, despite the pain, their loss experience has made them stronger.
So, which group are you in?
Aren’t you tired of feeling powerless? If you’re at the end of yourself today, ask someone for help. Ask God to come into your life, to guide your steps, and to empower you to live the life you desire. Ask Him to help you live beyond loss.