Today’s post is the 4th in this series covering aspects of grief and disguised grief.
This process takes time, space and the willingness to change and look at life with a different lens, so be gentle yourself as you consider the ideas below.
To help guide others through their experiences of grief, I developed the Grief Reset Protocol. Think about what remains emotionally unfinished in your life. Choose an experience you would like to resolve, be released from, or gain some relief around and follow the steps below.
While many reactions such as bitterness, hostility, and resentment suggest grief is present, notice feelings of sadness, helplessness, anger, and disappointment in particular as signs that you’re grieving.
Let your genuine feelings be present and grieve over: 1) what you got and didn’t deserve (the bad stuff – abuse, chaos, inconsistency, neglect); 2) what you deserved and didn’t get (the good stuff – acknowledgment, praise, support); 3) what never was (the facts, circumstances, and missed opportunities of your life); 4) what is not now (the facts and circumstances of your life now); and 5) what may never be (accepting that certain changes or responses may never come).
Reflect by identifying an important or high-impact memory or difficult life experience to resolve.
Inquire more deeply. Make sense of your life history by understanding the impact, the importance, and meaning, or significance of your experiences across time. Who did you become because of the difficult life experience: at the time of the event? / in childhood? / in teen years? / in adulthood? / now? How did the experience shape you and your outlook or personality?
Explore and extract the positive learnings … many times something good can be drawn from painful life experiences.
Free yourself: Let go of the “old story” you have described about yourself. Forgive yourself for what you did or did not know, or did or did not do. Also, forgive others for what they did or did not know and for what they did or did not do. And last, forge new images of who you want to become and start living into that new story.
This is the process for helping you make sense of difficult life experiences or unresolved grief.
There is more to this conversation, so please watch for next weeks blog addressing disguised grief.
Just remember, journalling your thoughts is really helpful and can make a big difference in your sense of well-being.