Living with Grief

Grief – Deep sorrow, the natural response to a loss. The emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away. Many people associate grief with the death of a loved one, however any loss can cause grief. From the loss of friendships, relationships, pets, health, jobs to dreams or even selling the family home. One thing that I have learned about grief, is that each person experiences and handles it differently.

Grief can hit you in the most unexpected ways. There can be times when you think you are making progress, things seem to be looking up, and a song comes on the radio or you see something that reminds you of your loss and you are taken back to the pain. This recently happened to me and it was like getting hit with a wall of emotions. Everything changed in an instant, my mindset and how my body was feeling. It was the first time I realized what I was experiencing. As much as I tried to shift my mindset and stay busy, those feelings hung back there waiting for my mind to quiet down. Waiting for me to sit in them and sort through them. I think that is one of the hardest things, not brushing your feelings under the rug, but trying to navigate through them.

There are different stages of grief. A simple search online shows the original five stages that have now been amended to seven. The original five stages are highlight below.

Denial – This often come across as – “This can’t be happening to me.” Denial can also consist of not acknowledging your feelings, saying you are fine when you really aren’t.

Anger – If you have experienced any kind of loss, you more than likely have been angry, even if it was only for a short time. I have hit it. I have been angry, unable to understand, asking God questions that only He knows the answers too.

Bargaining – This one is just like it reads. When you are trying to make deals, this can often be with God or others depending on your situation.

Depression – This is the grief or sadness that hits you, sometimes out of no where.

Acceptance – When you come to peace with what has happened.

As I stated earlier, everyone grieves differently, some may go through all of these phases and some may not. Some may go in this exact order and some may jump around. There is no right or wrong way to grieve. You and you alone are entitled to your feelings. Do not let anyone else tell you how you should be feeling and don’t try to tell yourself how you should be feeling, remember there is not right or wrong way.

These are some things that I do to help with the grieving process; acknowledge and sit in your feelings. Feel the pain and know that things will get better. I also journal to help with this process. Pick up a new hobby or activity that brings you joy. Talk to someone, a support group or a counselor. Know that there is no quick fix, it takes time to heal. Know that you are not alone.

Sometimes it is hard to console people who are grieving. Sometimes no words are needed. Just having the mere presence that someone is there for you is enough for some people. If you know someone who is grieving or who is going through a hard time, don’t be afraid to reach out. We could all use a little more love in the world.

XOXOXO

Casey

Choose Forgiveness.

Forgiveness. Such a big word that packs so much meaning. It is the act or process of forgiving or being forgiven. To forgive is to stop feeling angry or resentful toward someone for an offense, flaw, or mistake. Forgiveness can sometimes be one of the hardest things to do, depending on what the other person has done to offend you. 

I have been mulling over this forgiveness issue for a while lately. I have often forgiven people for things they have done (even when they didn’t realize they did anything wrong). But how do you know when you have truly forgiven someone?

  • Time – one thing for sure, forgiveness takes time. There have been a few times where I said I have forgiven people, but honestly I hadn’t yet. I needed more time to feel, to work through whatever the issue was, and to move forward on my own time. Time is important.
  • When you can talk about what happened as a point of reference and not a point of pain – When talking about the issue no longer causes you hurt, you have reached forgiveness.
  • When revenge becomes a non-issue – If you reach the point of no longer trying to get back at someone for what they did to you, I would say you have reached forgiveness with them. 
  • When the lesson has been learned – sometimes when things happen, we don’t sit in the pain. We brush everything under the rug and go on with life. Then the same situation happens again and again, over and over. In this type of situation, learning through forgiveness allows for new boundaries to be set up. Boundaries, I have recently learned, are a very healthy thing to have. (Don’t worry, I have another blog on boundaries coming!)
  • Helping your offender – If something arised and the person that has hurt you needed help and you were able to help them and feel okay about it, you have probably reached forgiveness. 

Not only is forgiveness good for you emotionally, but there are some health benefits to forgiveness as well. Some of these include; less anxiety and stress, improved mental health, lower blood pressure, and improved heart health. 

Some hold on to grudges for ages, but think about what all you are missing out on. If you are so tied up being angry with someone else, you are missing out on all the good that is going on around you. I get it, you are probably saying, “Casey, you have no idea what they did to me”, but I bet I can relate in a small way. I have been through the abusive relationships, the liars, the cheaters, the people who take advantage, and raising a child on my own. I also understand that we as humans make mistakes, I know I have made my fair share. I have chosen the route of forgiveness, whether people have apologized or not.

Life to too short to constantly be hindered by something that happened in the past. Take the time to learn to forgive. It may take time, but I bet your heart will feel much lighter and happier. Choose Happiness. Choose Forgiveness.

Share some love, we could all use a little more love.

XOXOXO

Casey

Success Habits – June Book of the Month

For the June Book of the Month, I read “Success Habits – Proven Principles for Greater Wealth, Health, and Happiness” by Napoleon Hill. This book is a collection of a radio talk series that Napoleon gave. I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick read for me but it was packed with a lot of punches.

“The starting point of all individual achievements is the adoption of a definite purpose accompanied by a definite plan for its attainment followed by appropriate action.”

If you want achievements and success, you have to find your purpose. I think this has been said a lot in many different books that I have read. With no purpose, it is hard to find the drive to keep on going, to weather the storms, to keep on keeping on when the going gets tough. Once you find your purpose though, you have to make a plan and then you have to follow that plan with the action steps required. I think making the plan and the follow-through of the plan are easy compared to finding your purpose. Finding your Purpose can be tough, it comes naturally to some people. Some people have been living their purpose and don’t even realize it, and some, like me, didn’t realize purpose can be as simple as helping others.

Find your purpose, make a plan, and put it into action.

“All individual achievements are the result of a motive or a combination of motives.”

9 Basic Motives

  • Emotion of Love – Greatest of all motives and emotions
  • Emotion of Sex
  • Desire for Material Wealth
  • Desire for Self-Preservation
  • Desire for Freedom of Body & Mind
  • Desire for Personal Expression & Recognition
  • Desire for Perpetuation of Life after Death
  • Desire for Revenge
  • Emotion of Fear

Now, think about the things that motivate you, that drive you. Do they fall into the 9 Basic Motives? Mine did. I found this very intriguing. That all people are motivated by all of the same things, in some sort of way.

“If you allow your mind to dwell upon the things you don’t want, that is exactly what you get, and that is what the majority of the people are getting, the things that they don’t want.”

15 Major Causes of Failure

  • Habit of drifting through life without a definite purpose or a definite plan for attaining it.
  • Unfavorable physical heredities at birth
  • Meddlesome curiosity in connection with other people’s affairs
  • Lack of a definite, major purpose as a life goal
  • Inadequate education
  • Lack of Self-Discipline
  • Lack of Ambition to aim above mediocrity
  • Ill Health
  • Unfavorable environmental influences during childhood
  • Lack of Persistence in carrying through to a finish that which one starts
  • Negative Mental Attitude
  • Lack of Control of the Emotions of the Heart
  • Desire for something for nothing
  • Procrastination
  • Giving into 1 or more of the 7 Basic Fears – Fear of Poverty, Fear of Criticism, Ill Health, Loss of Love, Old Age, Loss of Liberty, and Death

The one that stood out to me was the “Desire for something for nothing.” How often do we desire things but don’t put in the work to achieve them? Where we think we are entitled to things because, well life hasn’t always been “fair” to us? Nothing comes to us for free. Yes, you may know people who it seems everything they touch turns to gold, but do you know their whole story?

There are more points in the book on how to improve your character along with a personality assessment. “Personality is one of the important things that is responsible for your success or failure.” How is your personality rating these days? Are you passing? Or could you use some more loving?

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I hope you were able to find a few nuggets in what I shared.

Share some love, we could all use a little more love
XOXOXO
Casey