It's that helpless feeling in the pit of your stomach - when a loss hits you right between the eyes and the floor falls away. I have often had this experience when The Phone Call comes - the one that you never see coming. Then comes a slow realization - this is happening - there is nothing I can do.
Now true, of course, the reality is, something has happened that has shifted your life, and that cannot be changed. This person or animal has died, or this job is over, or this relationship is gone. And that feeling of helplessness is totally normal and understandable.
BUT - you are 100% in control of how you face that change.
People stay stuck in their pain and their suffering because they have been taught that they will always be helpless, and that they just have to "get through it" and deal with it. But then no healing takes place, and the feelings that need to be expressed stay within, buried and toxic - sometimes for decades.
Sometimes the pain seems so intense and so insurmountable that we can't even talk about it - what's the point? This is never going to go away, no matter how much I talk. I know that feeling all too well.... and then I discovered that keeping those feelings inside was making me sick - sick in my soul and sick in my life. And I found that when I did talk about it, the pain did ease. Keeping back those powerful emotions takes SO much energy, it's exhausting. It may eventually overwhelm you and explode when you least expect it.
What I advise people is to take baby steps - confide in a supportive friend, or a stranger, if that makes it easier - give yourself permission to sob uncontrollably for a spell - just once. Sharing with a compassionate person who will not judge can be very healing - and crying (or laughing, for that matter) releases endorphins that bring about a happy feeling of satisfaction. I encourage you to make a step today - then you can make the choice to start getting your life back.
A long time ago, at least 15 years, I went to a new doctor. After the usual questions and tests, she did something no other doctor had ever done - she walked me to her office, closed the door and sat me down at her desk. "So Claire, tell me about your life." I said, uh, how much time do you have??? Just tell me, she replied, and began to take notes....
I figured if she was going to be my doctor, she had better know everything - everything up until that point that encompassed what I call The Dark Ugly™ (explained in more depth and passion here). So I began at the beginning - the neglect, the abuse, the health issues, the rape and cancer, the years of therapy - and my mother's death. The doctor wrote and wrote - and sometimes looked up at me above the rims of her glasses with a inquisitive look and a shake of her head, and then returned to writing.
When I was finished, she took off her glasses and looked up at me. "I have one question," she said. "Why aren't you dead?"
WHAT?? She explained that folks who had been through all that I had seen and experienced would most likely be dead by then - and that was 15 years ago..... That doctor made me think long and hard, with that one question, about why I was still here.
Because I made up my mind to be.
Because it has always been a conscious choice to not let my journey be about my brokenness, but about a triumph over it.
One of my favorite quotes is by the great songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen:
"There is a crack in everything - that's how the Light gets in."
Healing IS Doable – I know, I’ve done it – and many others have, too.
Take that first step - and
take your power and your life back.
If you would like to speak to me personally about the above subject or any topic surrounding Grief, Loss, coaching or healing, click here to set aside a personal Free ½ Hour Empowerment Call. You are not alone.
Claire M. Schwartz
Leading You Back into the Light after Loss