Every time we experience a loss — a physical death, a job, a relationship, a disappointment — there’s an opportunity for growth.
As much as these unavoidable moments in our lives can be devastating and painful, learning to move through the grief rather than getting stuck in it can actually be transformative as opposed to traumatic.
It may sound cliche, but when something ends, there's space for something new to begin. With every change, there’s some pattern that we’ve been in that ends as well. You can allow it to be an opening — a space of new information coming in, new ways of being in the world, and new options can present themselves.
The access to that opening starts with acknowledging that there’s a difference between the death itself versus how we interpret and internalize what’s happened. We can’t escape grief, but we can learn how to navigate it in a healthy way that propels us forward in our growth.
Accessing growth during grief:
There’s a choice in how you approach and respond to your own needs during these times. Acts of self-love, forgiveness, accepting the love and support of others, and cultivating presence are all access points to healing and growth in the face of loss. Actively choosing these things — particularly being compassionate and loving enough with yourself — helps us heal and recover from the trauma.
As you feel the loss, you can also allow awareness of what's newly possible. Otherwise, we miss the creation of something new and stop our lives from moving forward.
Remaining unattached and actively letting go allows us to take in the medicine of the experience, which frees us up for whatever comes next.
Consider that the pruning of a tree actually nurtures and feeds its growth. What’s not viable falls away AND the tree is no longer expending energy or resources to keep a dying branch going (it won’t provide seed). When you prune, it opens up the channel for the resources to create more life. Whether it’s a toxic relationship or a job, home, or body that’s no longer aligned with our needs, letting go of our attachment to that thing creates space for us to bloom in ways we may not be able to anticipate from our current vantage point.
Honoring the loss powerfully:
That feeling of loss or grief is there because we’re honoring something precious that’s no longer with us. Our sadness is an expression of that, and the best thing we can do is to allow ourselves the tears that are a natural part of grieving.
When we relate to physical life with our minds rather than our spirit, we can have trouble with the concept of death (of any kind). It can be reassuring to consider that those who came before us are still connected to us in some way, and that we will continue on as well.
Remembering, honoring, and releasing — as opposed to resisting — is the best way to move through our grief and step into the growth that awaits on the other side. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this perspective, and your personal experience once you've put it into practice.