Tag Archives: coping with grief

I am Giving Myself Permission to Grieve Freely

12 Nov

Now we see poorly

I have walked through my share of very disappointing situations recently.  One thing is for sure: the stuff I have been going through is NOTHING compared to what other people have gone through in their respective lives.  

I’ve tried to maintain perspective and not really let myself get too down–because I know that my frustration is somewhat small. 

Relatively speaking.  

One look on the news, you’ll see people dying of starvation, losing children, experiencing natural disasters, and suffering debilitating poor health with no reprieve.

I thought THAT was the only appropriate mindset to maintain while I waited for the stress and the pain to pass.  

Unfortunately, I started sinking into a place of emotional breath holding.  It felt like I had no air–all while trying to talk myself down with internal self-talk:


“It’s not even bad”
“You really don’t know the meaning of suffering”
and
“Just need to drive on–be thankful that it’s not worse.”

Nothing was helping.  The pain and disappointment were there in spite of the head-knowledge that my circumstances are a relative cake-walk.  (mmm…cake…yes, I tried cake.  And no, it didn’t relieve the vice grip.)

 


 

Providentially, I came across a bit of enlightenment.  Grief and joy alike are both relative.  People consistently respond to someone’s grief-story with, “Oh, that’s nothing–you should hear what happened to my neighbor’s brother-in-law’s cousin.”

 But no one would ever say to a high-schooler who just won first place at his swim meet, “Eh-maybe you are feeling happy, but it’s nothing compared to how Michael Phelps would have felt after winning 8 gold medals in Beijing!”

 


 

We don’t scale victories and celebrations on a who-has-had-it-better basis.  So why are we so quick to rate their griefs?  We can only measure our disappointments against our own experience; therefore, we have a right to grieve our losses.

Roll with it.  It’s hard, and personal.  I didn’t even expect to react the way I did.  I had no idea I would feel this terrible, and with that came an awkward internal angst that was hard to reconcile.

It is important to validate your heartache adequately.  Share it with your loved ones, allow them to support you where you need it.  (But don’t hold it against them if it seems like they don’t get it–remember, all grief is relative.)

The world is full of horrible experiences….this is just the condition of humanity.  Everything is broken and dying, no one’s exempt.  Without the hope that salvation offers us, it is scary to think that this world is the best it will ever be.  

Take heart!  Dig into the truth–one of my dear friends shared this Proverb, and it reminded me to pour through the scriptures for “breath.” 

When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations soothe my soul.
Psalm 94:19 ESV

Leigh


Read more:

When Someone Doesn’t “get” you

Lessons Learned from my Miscarriage

How to See Light When Walking through Nothing but Darkness

Do You Feel Me?

19 Oct

Food for thought:  Each Heart Knows Its Own Bitterness, and No One Else Can Share In Its Joy.   Proverbs 14:10

I can totally identify with this.  Over the years,  I have experienced various dark valleys in my journey.  Then there have been seasons where my heart has exploded with exhilaration over a fortunate blessing.  Life waxes and wanes with ups and downs.  I am still learning to receive both, gracefully.

When I have been in the dark days, I am so quick to convey my grief, sadness and angst to my family and friends.  I expect them to know exactly how it feels, and to “go there” with me.   It feels better if they can truly understand my depths of despair.  The sharing, (or–complaining) has fallen on gracious ears over the years.  In return, I receive words of confirmation and validation.  I have been heard.  They got it.

But, sometimes, I continue to feel unheard.

I have been particularly hard on my husband in this area.  In my times of frustration and angst, I really want him to feel what I feel.  I guess it means I want him burning as I do…I literally want him to feel my pain.  How’s that for showing my true colors?  Really.  My misery has LOVED, LONGED for company, and when it didn’t get some fellowship, I’ve felt desperate.  I have even criticized: “You just don’t get it!!”

Something quietly dawned on me:  That’s right, he doesn’t.  Of course this man–in spite of sharing every detail of my life–can never truly feel how I feel.  And just because he doesn’t, does it mean his concern is insincere?

I have come to terms with the disconnect.  I gotta let people off the hook–and forgive, for not “getting” it.  I savor these words of Solomon, which pointed me toward emotional maturity.

1.  I extend more grace to people who appear unconcerned.
2.  The desire to share my grievances, and the temptation to complain has diminished.
3.  In the occasion of overwhelming joy, I can share the good news sensibly, without sounding boastful.
4.  Most of all, it helps me to remain in a meditative place when I experience life’s peaks and valleys.

Your joy is your own; your bitterness is your own. No one can share them with you.

It sounds harsh, but on the other hand, sometimes raw selfishness needs to be confronted.

Meanwhile, this bit of freedom might actually improve your relationships.

Enjoy your journey,
Leigh

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