Facing Life’s Challenges

With the passing of years also comes learning how to accept the things life has given and taken away. We spend most of our lives accumulating things of value and then spend the latter part learning how to part from them. From material things to the people and friends we have known and lost along the way to also losing our own youthfulness, we are faced with life’s challenges that we have little to no control over.

In 1993 I was grateful for my Communication Speech professor at college who took it upon herself to share the process of grieving once we finished the speech curriculum outline. From a book illustrating the works of Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross as well as my professors own personal experiences she walked us through an amazing outline that totally touched my heart and opened my eyes.

I was in my thirties and the word, ‘grieving’, never entered my mind or vocabulary before. The things I had lost in my life to this point I never knew as something I should learn to grieve over. Looking to them as burdens to give to my God to process was all I knew. There was a great amount of peace in doing this but what I didn’t know was by identifying the pain and emotions, along with understanding more of myself in the healing process, would release even more burdens I found I was still holding onto!

This process of grieving I have kept close to my heart as I find it helps when dealing with any type of loss in my life. This process, along with my faith in God’s powerful guidance, has helped in comforting and directing me to get through one day at a time. I have also learned from sharing with others that the period of time to process our grieving is different for all people as we are all created differently with diverse backgrounds and circumstances.

Now that I have past the age of 55 I am learning how to grieve over the physiological changes my body is going through. As I move onward to eliminate any harmful substance from my life I once again am reminded how powerful re-visiting the grieving stages are.

Life continues to teach me more and more of how important “Living” in each day is in spite of any grieving process I may have to walk through. I find it all brings on the opportunity of service to myself and others and the absolute of healthy healing.

Hope you find the information below taken from Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’s “five stages of grief” helpful in any area of loss you are faced with today.

A Normal Life Process

At some point in our lives, each of us faces the loss of someone or something dear to us. The grief that follows such a loss can seem unbearable, but grief is actually a healing process. Grief is the emotional suffering we feel after a loss of some kind. Even intense disappointment can cause grief. Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross has named five stages of grief people go through following a serious loss. Sometimes people get stuck in one of the first four stages. Their lives can be painful until they move to the fifth stage – acceptance.

Five Stages Of Grief

  1. Denial and Isolation.
    At first, we tend to deny the loss has taken place, and may withdraw from our usual social contacts. This stage may last a few moments, or longer.
  2. Anger.
    The grieving person may then be furious at the person who inflicted the hurt (even if she’s dead), or at the world, for letting it happen. He may be angry with himself for letting the event take place, even if, realistically, nothing could have stopped it.
  3. Bargaining.
    Now the grieving person may make bargains with God, asking, “If I do this, will you take away the loss?”
  4. Depression.
    The person feels numb, although anger and sadness may remain underneath.
  5. Acceptance.
    This is when the anger, sadness and mourning have tapered off. The person simply accepts the reality of the loss.

Grief And Stress

During grief, it is common to have many conflicting feelings. Sorrow, anger, loneliness, sadness, shame, anxiety, and guilt often accompany serious losses. Having so many strong feelings can be very stressful.

Yet denying the feelings, and failing to work through the five stages of grief, is harder on the body and mind than going through them. When people suggest “looking on the bright side,” or other ways of cutting off difficult feelings, the grieving person may feel pressured to hide or deny these emotions. Then it will take longer for healing to take place.

Recovering From Grief

Grieving and its stresses pass more quickly, with good self-care habits. It helps to have a close circle of family or friends. It also helps to eat a balanced diet, drink enough non-alcoholic fluids, get exercise and rest.

Most people are unprepared for grief, since so often, tragedy strikes suddenly, without warning. If good self-care habits are always practiced, it helps the person to deal with the pain and shock of loss until acceptance is reached.

Blessings,

Sandi

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