Recently, I went through a loss and experienced some intense grief.
I want to share that with you because I know that grief is a human emotion, and so chances are you've experienced grief before.
I thought that perhaps sharing the process that has helped me might help you, whether it’s for a future moment that you’ll use these tools, or perhaps a current moment in your life.
I definitely feel like my self-coaching tools came in super handy, to say the least.
I want to make it clear, though, that there's no RIGHT or WRONG way to get through grief. My experience won't be your experience.
The #1 thing was that I ALLOWED the emotion. I didn’t buffer, resist, avoid. I let it be there. Negative emotion only shuts you down when you resist it . If you don’t resist it, it’s like carrying a heavy purse of grief around, but you can still move forward. Resistance looks like: I need to feel better right now. I can’t do this. I can’t go through this. This will break me. I won’t be OK.
These were some of my accepting and allowing thoughts (feel free to borrow them!):
This is grief.
I experienced loss, and I WANT to be sad right now.
I will be OK.
I will get through this.
I won’t always feel this way.
I can experience grief AND still show up for my clients 100%. (I did!)
I’m in touch with my body and my emotions to know what I need when, and fulfill those needs.
There’s no right or wrong way to feel. I can feel however I am feeling, and it’s OK.
I can let this feeling pass through me.
It takes courage to act inside of negative emotion and feel my feelings.
In a previous email, I spoke about the 3 steps to change (1. Awareness; 2. Acceptance; 3. Change). The thoughts above were part of steps 1 & 2.
Only once I TRULY allowed my body to process the grief and feel my feelings was I ready for step 3. It came naturally because I didn’t force it. I didn’t jump to it straight away.
These were some of my “change” thoughts (not forced, just spontaneous):
This is happening FOR me. (I made a separate list of how this could be true. It's POWERFUL work. If you want to see this list, let me know. If you use this thought to help you, make a list for yourself.)
I will be a more compassionate person because of this.
I will be a better coach, friend, mother, and wife because of this.
There are so many hidden blessings in this situation. I can see that.
I know there is so much more suffering that could be, and so I’m grateful for it being this.
I am so grateful for all the thought-work I’ve done in my life, and the coaching tools I share and use, because I wouldn’t have been able to get through this grief as gracefully as I did without it.
I am surrounded by supportive, loving friends, mentors, and family.
The other important thing to remember is that grief (or any painful emotion) can come in waves. Progress through it doesn’t have to be linear. You can be in the midst of intense grief, then feel relief, and then be thrown right back into intense grief. It’s all OK. Awareness, acceptance, and then change … that’s the best way to get through it. Don’t skip a step
I don’t wish hardship, loss, or grief on anyone. But in our current reality, it’s inevitable. And so the best thing we can do for ourselves is to learn how to get through challenging circumstances with as many tools as we have at our disposal.