Growth in Grief & Change
As we go through this process, it’s important to give ourselves permission to feel, grieve, and return to a stage as frequently as we need.
From the first day of the news, and event, we will be moving towards acceptance. Each stage brings us a step closer. The shock serves a purpose as the freeze gives us time to accept a new reality is occurring, even though we are not ready to fully accept it. The anger helps us acknowledge the pain. We rebel, rationalize, project, blame and minimize; hearing ourselves deflect and avoid the topic to ourselves and others. Then we need to move forward and this takes intention to do so. We could remain stuck in the first 3 stages, and our mental health will suffer. Experts give us about 6 months to not be ok with the reality. Anything past this could turn into a mental disorder.
It hurts to accept reality of loss and change. Remember to acknowledge those emotions throughout. The reason to accept the reality is to move fully into the GREEN ZONE.
It’s in this GREEN ZONE where we connect, are open, grounded, and can find happiness again. The Ventral Vagal nerve runs down our spine, throughout our body, responding to our calm. When in the acceptance stage, we begin social engagement. Our digestive system works better. We have a stronger immune response with rest and recuperation. We can connect with ourselves, God and others and do not experience defensiveness as intensely or as often.
Memories can kick us back into red and this is ok. Create a plan that brings you back to green. Hope will arise and keep us steady and then we will grow and support others as they navigate. How will we help them? By listening with empathy. No advice giving. Learning these skills takes intentional effort and it is worth the investment.
There is growth in grief and change, there is hope! In this series, we will be exploring each part of this process. Take a few moments daily to honor your grief.