When we come to the last moment of this lifetime and look back, the only thing that’s going to matter is ‘What was the quality of our love?’” Richard Bach
2. Be open to changing your perspective! The experience of grief and trauma can contribute to your changing your thinking about what is truly important in life. For example, following the occurrence of a significant tragedy or loss, you may find yourself amazed at the decreased importance and attention you give to what were formerly valued items, perhaps a fancy car, china or clothing, or to participation in previously favored activities, such as sports, your job, traveling or entertainment.
3. Recognize the importance of Love in your life’s journey. You may even learn from your pain and suffering that the only thing that really matters is the person you love and your loving relationship with this individual. My husband taught me this years before we married (some 44 years ago!). Walking along a boating dock, the little bag I held that contained his rings and watch slipped from my hands, went through the boards and into the water, never to be seen again. I cried profusely, feeling great guilt, and will always remember his words: “Don’t worry, Susan. The only thing that matters is you. I can replace the jewelry; I can’t replace you.” His love touched, healed and soothed my pain of disappointing him!
4. In dealing with the pain of a tragedy, loss or grief, healing occurs as you discover that you are much stronger than you thought you were. Suddenly, being forced into roles that your ill or deceased loved ones once held, be it holding down a full-time job, paying the bills, maintaining your home or car, or creating your social life, you may find that you are now taking responsibility for areas of your life that you previously felt you were unable to handle.
5. With your new- found sense of personal strength, you may learn that you are more powerful than you had thought, more capable and more resilient. This new awareness may enhance your self-esteem, self-confidence and your belief in yourself. All of these are gifts because they come at a time when you are left feeling powerless, frightened and worried about your ability to survive. Tragedy often validates your ability to be a survivor, one who can handle whatever curve ball may come your way. My patients have repeatedly shared their awareness with me of how much braver and more courageous they feel they are, having proved to themselves they can survive without their loved ones
6. You learn that there are questions that better serve you than asking “Why did this happen?”, a normal response to such events. By asking “What is this teaching me?” and “What is the lesson I need to learn here?”, you find that you have an enhanced ability to cope with such stressful experiences. For example, such questions often move us from perceiving ourselves as victims to realizing that we have the resources to deal with such challenges. They also move us along in our having a sense of purpose, despite our angst and pain.
7. View the events as challenges or opportunities to learn valuable life lessons; patience, courage, compassion or forgiveness. Asking the previously mentioned questions helps you become more conscious of which life lessons you are here to learn. This, in turn, again, leads to a stronger sense of connection with your own Higher Power or God, as well as a change in your perspective about the meaning of such losses and traumas. Allow your perspective to become broader, inviting in more wonderful possibilities about life, its purpose and whether life continues in a somewhat different form; allow this change in perspective to soothe and heal the pain of your broken heart. (TO BE CONTINUED)
Susan Barbara Apollon
Author of “Touched By The Extraordinary”
©Copyright 2008 Susan Barbara Apollon