The pain, frustration, and suffering we go through after the death of a loved one is extremely difficult to cope with and grow through. However, great losses, particularly the changes that go with them, are constant and have to be addressed. Grief by nature is a transformational process: we learn new ways to adapt to a different life or continue to resist the inevitable changes that have to be made. Since there are numerous healing paths to follow, perhaps you will find one or more of the paths below to be one of your choices and provide achievable inner peace in the process.
1. Find your purpose/mission in life. Think long and hard on why you are here. Do you have a personal goal? Purpose gives us meaning and a boost in self-esteem. Examine your skills, abilities, and interests, very closely. Carefully ask yourself what moves you deep within. Then decide on a plan to follow in creating a purpose to lead you to a higher level of consciousness. The sense of accomplishment will transform your life and in the process pull you out of the shadows. The cost of not seeking your niche, your contribution, is overwhelming.
2. Focus more on what you can give and less on what you can receive. We all certainly need support in dealing with our losses. However, it is equally true, that at some point in our grieving seeking to help others even though we are hurting is a historically proven way to cope well. Start by paying the kindness you receive forward. Decide what has helped you up to this point in you grief; analyze it for the needs that it met, and try to meet similar needs in others. Think of these four basic needs we all hope to be fulfilled in our interpersonal relationships: attention, acceptance, affection, and appreciation. Decide on the many behaviors you can generate to meet these needs in others. You can build more peace within as you bring peace to them.
3. Choose to develop your ability to become more loving. Love is a great unused power in dealing with all sorts of difficult situations. Grieving and adapting to great losses are situations in which working to love deeper and more completely brings new perceptions in seeing the world and our places in it. Great love strengthens the quality of our inner lives.
Look for uplifting and inspiring readings or poetry which suggests loving kindness as the motivating force behind it; read a short paragraph daily and then commit to those loving actions as you go through your day. Ask yourself. "What actions can I take to give unconditional positive regard to someone today?" Developing this daily routine will add structure to your life and help stabilize the sense of disorganization that accompanies grief work.
4. Develop and nurture a belief in something greater than the self. For most, grief is a heart-filled spiritual journey which fills mourners with a different perception of life and death. It may be appropriate to join a spiritual community to be with others who share similar values. Just being in their company to listen can be a soothing experience and you may find spiritual exercises that bring great insight and peace.
The awareness of spiritual knowledge and the impact it can have on every facet of life is a resource of inestimable value in coping with the death of a loved one. If you don't have one, find a spiritual path. Don't allow the culture we live in to deemphasize the importance of faith and spirituality in living a full life and coping with the massive changes we all eventually face.
5. Be open to new ideas and ways to adapt to change. There are so many ways to cope with great losses, many we never think about. So read all you can about how others cope with their losses. Ask others how they were able to adapt to their great loss and find peace. For example, consider deciding to search for ways to deal with your pain and not run from it. Uncover new responses that help ease pain. There are some that will fit your belief system and you can implement them to your own individual situation.
Be sure to include ways to deal with stress which commonly builds as we think too much about what we do not have. Daily stress management will not only help your mind, it will be a great gift to your body as well. Start by learning about mindfulness techniques and belly breathing.
6. Learn what you can and cannot control. One goal that all of the various grief theories agree on is that the ultimate goal of grieving is acceptance of what has occurred. Of course, not easy to do. This acceptance translates into coming to grips with what you can control, like in the present moment, and what you cannot change or affect from the past. No one can reverse what has occurred. Knowing the difference is a choice requiring wisdom and sometimes guidance from others. It can also require prayer and/or deep meditation. Making the choice of acceptance, which means to live with the fact, not necessarily like it, would be a great start to inner peace.
7. Set a goal to reach in honor of your loved one. Peace comes through doing as well as thinking. Allow yourself to be touched and motivated by the invisible presence of the beloved. Unwavering determination is of essential importance in completing your mission. So once you have chosen how you will pay tribute, create a schedule of when and how you will work on it. Develop the habit of eliminating self-sabotaging thoughts of what you don't have by switching to a focus on your progress of paying tribute to your loved one.
Continually work to create a conscious lifestyle that has peace of mind as a top priority. Make this is a daily duty.
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