Love Yourself First
Give yourself the love and respect you truly deserve.
With all that’s going on in the world right now - many of us are not okay! And there’s no need to pretend that we are. Pretending to be something we aren’t takes a tremendous amount of energy and who has time for that - really?!
If you’ve experienced a devastating loss of a loved one or a job, grief and a profound sense of loss may be hard to shake. Even a series of smaller losses - everything from canceled visits with family to postponed vacations to your gym or favorite restaurant closing temporarily or permanently, can have devastating effects.
Oftentimes our culture and society doesn’t offer us room to grieve. There is a sense of urgency to get over it already. We may believe we need to get over grief and move on. I believe that healing only comes when we allow ourselves to fully grieve. There are no time limits with grief or a right way or wrong way to grieve. You do you.
Activities that are part of our everyday routine give us a sense of purpose and control over our lives. Losing those routines may bring on depression, anxiety or both. Since we may not have the same physical connection with loved ones and friends, the effects of losing control over our lives is doubled.
Allow yourself time and space to not be okay.
Maybe you can take the next step of extending these beliefs to the loved ones in your life, your community and the world.
I was able to make peace (after years of struggle) with not being okay. I felt like I had lost so much in my life and I wasn't going to be able to recover, but then I realized the truthfulness of the above statement. Similar to the concept of everything (good or bad) is temporary. Powerful.
One of my favorite books, “The Wild Edge of Sorrow” by Frances Weller, illustrates how other cultures and societies handle grief, some even honoring grief as a community. Weller explains the five levels of grief, as well as the different kinds of grief. Reading this book allowed me to not only make peace with my losses, but to move on to a place where I accepted grief as part of the journey of living.
If you’re less of a reader and more of a listener, Brene Brown’s interviews David Kessler on her Unlocking Us Podcast. Kessler, who continues the work of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, takes the processes of grief one step further - to the stage of finding meaning in grief.
If you're not ready to explore your grief in all of it's glory, know that there is no right or wrong way. Allow yourself the time and the space to not be okay - whatever that looks like and as often as you need to. We are in unprecedented times and caring for and taking care of ourselves and each other must be unprecedented too.