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Grief and LossTransformation

6 Keys to Re-Awaken Hope after Loss

By March 22, 2012March 26th, 2012No Comments

While in the grieving process, it may feel as though hope has abandoned you. Depressed, you question your purpose for living. You ask, “Why did this happen? What is the point of it all?” You may have lost hope for living your dreams or don’t even know what they are anymore. Perhaps your loved one was an integral part of living the life you had always imagined. Uninspired, you go through the motions of your daily life without feeling truly alive.

The following are helpful keys to re-awaken hope when you no longer feel jazzed about life.

  1. Have the Courage to Heal. Our society encourages us to move on quickly and get over it. We are taught that crying is a sign of weakness when in fact it takes great courage and inner strength to face grief head on, acknowledge it, and process through it. As you summon the courage to face your grief, remember you don’t have to do it alone and reach out for support. Processing through it, you will begin to feel lighter and hope will emerge like a rainbow after a storm.
  2. Be Patient with the Process. Healing and transformation does not happen over night. Grief comes in waves. Some waves are large, fast and close together. Others are small and spread apart. It’s important to honor your own grieving process and not rush it. There are gifts within your grief. If you rush the process, you will miss out on them. The important thing is to be present with your grief and allow it to have a life of its own.
  3. Have Faith in a Higher Purpose. Trust there is a higher purpose for your grief. You don’t need to know what it is, but have faith that there is one. Read inspirational stories or watch movies of others who have transformed tragedy into greater purpose. Allow their transformation to re-awaken hope for your own transformation.
  4. Remain open to New Possibilities. When feeling hopeless, we often forget there are other possibilities for how to perceive our loss. What if there are possibilities for your life beyond your imagination? What if your loss is the beginning of new life? The fertility for new creation? As you grieve and let go, imagine opening up to the infinite possibilities waiting for you. During this time, you are being invited to re-invent yourself and your life. Slow down and take the time to journal, go within and ask questions like, “Who am I? What is calling to me now? What does my soul want to create?” Every one of us was put on this planet to create abundantly with our life force energy and to experience joy.
  5. Have Great Compassion for Yourself. As you process your grief, take the opportunity to love yourself like never before. Imagine your inner child and what he or she needs to feel loved. Give your inner child attention and allow him or her to come out and play. Ask, “What would feel good in this moment? Perhaps your inner child would enjoy coloring, swinging or skipping. Or, maybe you would feel nurtured by a long walk in nature, a nap, luxurious bubble bath or watching a silly movie. Give yourself permission to love yourself!
  6. Remember You are Worthy. Sometimes grief can cause us to feel down about ourselves or like failures depending on the nature of our loss. It is important to remember you are more than worthy…you are perfect and whole, just the way you are. Work on forgiving yourself and remembering your true nature…pure, innocent and beautiful. Find a picture of yourself when you were a baby or young child that reminds you of your essence and place it on an altar, or where you can see it frequently like by your computer.

As we move into spring, I encourage you to look for signs of new life. Just as surely as the flowers promise to blossom this time of year, hope promises to re-awaken within you.

Journaling Exercise: Give hope a voice and write a letter from it imagining is could speak to you. What helps it to feel alive? What does it need to re-awaken? Is there anything it needs from you? Write a letter back. What do you need from it?

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Karen Mehringer, MA, MFT - Grief support, counseling and life coaching in Santa Cruz area.