You may wonder what grief has to do with a more peaceful life. Whether it’s the death of a loved one, divorce, or the loss of a job, we all have to deal with grief at some point. Grief is part of a normal healing process. Understand that your life has been permanently changed when you suffer a loss, and it requires healing to get past the event and move on.
While grief there are several levels of grief, all grief is painful, and there are many things you can learn from grief. It’s up to you whether you choose to learn from the grief or not. I can assure you, though, that learning the lessons, while sometimes difficult, is a lot easier than stifling the grief and having it simmer under the surface.
Here are some tips you can use to help you learn from your grief:
Find gratitude in grief
This may not seem like the first thing one would think of when grieving, but when you experience grief it is because something that you had is now gone. Take time to appreciate what it was you had. If your grief is from the death of a friend or loved one, take time to be thankful for the time you had together. If it is grief over a life event, find gratitude in the lessons you learned along the way and how you can use those lessons in the future.
Grief can motivate us to do more with life
A lot of times we are just going along with the flow, going through the motions, and not doing a whole lot with our lives. Then tragedy strikes and it’s like a rude awakening in the middle of the night. When you find yourself in this situation, use the wake up to realize life is too valuable to just coast from one day to the next.
Experience the grieving process
It may seem simpler to just continue on like nothing ever happened so you don’t have to feel the ache of loss. That may be a quick fix, but it is not a long term solution. Grief has a way of making its way out, whether you want it to or not. Allow yourself to grieve now, in a healthy way, rather than having to figure out later why life isn’t working.
Refocus your priorities
As you experience the grief, take some time to reevaluate your life. Are you spending enough quality time with the ones you love, or are you crunching on work projects and other outside activities for most of your waking time. It’s hard to sometimes admit our priorities aren’t exactly where they belong. Grief can give you the push you need to find what’s right.
Life goes on
Even though your world has stopped, the rest of the world is still functioning as if nothing ever happened. It can make you angry, upset, lonely, or just confused to see that people are carrying on today just the same as they were yesterday before your loss. It’s hard, but you need to realize that yes, life goes on. Be thankful for that.
You learn you are a survivor
No matter how tough things get, once you are through it you know you are a survivor – and even though it doesn’t seem like it at first, you will get through it. The phrase what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger is used so much it’s almost a cliche, but it’s true – especially in this case.
Choose to live a joyful life
It’s easy to develop bitterness as a coping mechanism but that will only prolong the grieving process. The people who have been through the hardest times often have the most joy in their lives. They don’t let their experiences harden their hearts or their spirits. It’s difficult, but doable.
Let your friends be there for you
When times are hard, it’s easy to want to be a hermit and isolate yourself. Always remember that the people who love you want to be there for you. It’s almost impossible to heal in isolation. Get out of your comfort zone and let those who love you do so. It will help you to heal, and help them to be able to do something for you.
Grief is hard, but the lessons you learn in the process can be life changing. Grief gives you an opportunity to reevaluate your life and refocus. Turn to your friends and family during difficult times and one day soon, you’ll be able to move forward, stronger and more peaceful than ever.
Find your purpose – find your joy!
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Did you find a few more ideas of your own? If so, I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and as always please reach out with your thoughts.