7 Ways to Find Inner Strength Through Grief
Our lives are marked by life events. Some are beautiful celebrations of joy. Milestones that we look forward to celebrating with friends and family. Then there are life events that rock the very foundation of your being. Events that change you forever. Events that are not marked by the blowing out of candles or the exchanging of rings, but by a hollowness in your chest that leaves you feeling like a breakable shell of the person you had built in your former life. Grief, a universal human experience, has the power to shatter our world and leave us feeling lost and broken. Feeling weak and powerless is a normal component of this type of grief. Below I have outlined some of the ways I have tried to find balance in my personal equation by seeking personal strength in grief.
1) Fuel for the Fire: Channel your Emotions
The journey towards personal growth begins with acknowledging your emotions. Grief can manifest as a mix of sadness, anger, confusion, and even relief. Instead of suppressing these feelings, allow yourself to experience them fully. Then uses that as fuel to channel its energy into something positive. I think about my niece Tilly when I am doing particularly grueling or difficult strength training. I have to get strong for Tilly - because she couldn’t, I must. It helps create connection and purpose.
2) Practice Self-Compassion: Be Kind to Yourself
During times of grief, it's easy to become your own harshest critic. But practicing self-compassion is crucial. Treat yourself with the same kindness you would offer a friend. Try and actively look for ways to nurture yourself. What is the kindest most enjoyable thing you could do for yourself? Try and incorporate these into your everyday life. Daily doses of self-love will help you feel peace and serenity from within. Whether this is making a beautiful meal for yourself, walking in the sunshine, or buying luxurious bath salts to soak the body and mind in try and find some simple pleasures to fill your everyday.
3) Seek Support: Find Connection
Grief can be isolating, but you don't have to go through it alone. Many times you can feel alone in your grief. That no one can possibly understand the heartache of your particular situation. Pain is universal. Whether it is the loss of a loved one or the end of a partnership the feelings of loss and devastation are synonymous. Look for opportunities to find support and connection with others. It helps remove the stigma of isolation and creates deep and lasting bonds that will continue to be a source of love and joy.
4) Embrace Learning: Turn Pain into Wisdom
Grief often forces us to reevaluate our beliefs and priorities. Use this time of introspection to explore your inner world. What have you learned from your experience? How can you use this newfound wisdom to shape your future? Embracing the lessons that grief brings can propel you toward personal growth and a deeper understanding of yourself. It also affords you the opportunity to potentially share that knowledge with others at pivotal crossroads in their life. Passing on wisdom and healing is a wonderful way to feel purpose in grief.
5) Set Small Goals: Focus on Progress
Grief can make life feel overwhelming, but breaking it down into small, manageable goals can provide a sense of purpose. These goals don't have to be grand; they could involve daily routines, hobbies, or self-care practices. Each small achievement becomes a stepping stone toward personal growth, boosting your confidence along the way. I have found that 4-6 weeks is a good goal-setting post.
6) Create a Ritual: Honor Your Loss
Louis Armstrong once sang us all a tune about “Pennies from Heaven”. Quipping that the ones we loved and lost send us little symbols to remind us of that love in a small but powerful way. Rituals can be a powerful way to channel grief into something positive. Create a ritual that honors your loss and celebrates the memory of what or whom you've lost. This could involve journaling, creating art, planting a tree, or engaging in an activity that holds special significance. Tilly sends me ladybugs and rainbows. It warms my heart when they appear and beautiful reminder that her energy is still very present in my life.
7) Pursue New Passions: Explore New Avenues
Grief can spark a desire for change and new experiences. Use this opportunity to explore passions or hobbies you've always been curious about. Engaging in new activities not only provides a healthy distraction but also opens doors to personal growth by expanding your skills, knowledge, and horizons. This keeps the mind focused on trying to be able to experience joy instead of being consumed by grief.
Channeling grief into personal growth and strength is not about erasing the pain; it's about using that pain as a catalyst for positive change. Embrace your emotions, seek support, and honor your loss through rituals. As you navigate this transformative journey, you'll discover resilience you never knew you had, and you'll emerge from the darkness of grief with a renewed sense of purpose, strength, and personal growth. Remember, even amidst the sorrow, there's room for growth, healing, and a brighter future.