As I have described in previous writings in this series, when you suffer loss in your life you go through a process of grieving. It begins with denial and then moves to anger. Typically you bargain with anyone, no one, God and yourself to try and make sense of it all. You most likely will suffer some sort of depression but eventually, to be healthy and resolve the hurt and sorrow, you will need to arrive at a state of acceptance.
As a result of some of the realizations that I had during my dark period of depression, I began to slowly start to accept what was happening to me. How my life was changing. I realized that this was going to happen whether I wanted it to or not. I could kick and scream as much as I wanted. Believe me, when alone, I kicked and screamed like a two year old having a tantrum. Regardless, it didn’t matter, my marriage was ending. The loss was real.
Acceptance for me was finally realizing that I was tired of living the lie. I was tired of all my wife’s spending. I was tired of all the lying. I came to realize that my wife had probably been lying to me about a lot of things for quite a few years. I knew what was going on but it was easier to ignore it rather than talk about it in a healthy and constructive way. The fact of the matter is I didn’t know how to do that without being confrontational so it was just easier to pretend and not say anything. And I wonder why it was that my marriage was over? Get a clue buddy!
I was tired of being played as a fool. I was tired of the divisiveness that seemed to often occur between my wife, family and friends. I was tired of loving and not being loved in return. My emotional bucket was empty and this woman I was in love with hadn’t done much, if anything, to fill it in quite some time. I was tired of being hurt. I was tired of being lonely. I was tired of being sad. I was tired of being angry! I was exhausted in so many ways.
I was also tired of my own lack of action. I chose not to communicate clearly with my wife about how I felt and what I thought we needed to change. That was my choice to avoid tough but necessary conversations. That is on me and part of what I had to own in this whole mess to move forward. I was also choosing to wallow in self-pity and feel sorry for myself. As long as I kept making those choices and refusing to accept my roll and circumstances it would be impossible for me to become healthy again.
I don’t think it matters what type of loss you are experiencing. In order to be healed and become whole again you need to get to the point of acceptance. For each person the route they travel to get there is going to be different. Eventually though, you will get there and it will be when you are ready; when it is right for you. For some that may be quicker than others but I hope if you are grieving a loss in your life that you do eventually reach that point. As odd as this sounds, I hope you reach that point of exhaustion; that point where you realize taking no action is worse than going on as you are.
For me, eventually, I found that this terrible thing that was happening to me was going to be the catalyst that allowed me to grow and become a stronger, better individual. My grief was real and I had begun to embrace it. I was learning to recognize my feelings and work with them rather than against them. I was beginning to understand my grief. I was becoming intimate with myself again. It took me a long time to get to that point. Years really. I often would have glimpses of my whole and healthy self and then something would happen in my life and I’d have a small relapse. After a short period of time, I would work through the issues and begin to move forward again. I can tell you that with each subsequent loss, each perceived setback in my life, I have always come out on the other side stronger, wiser, more whole and more confident than I was prior to those challenges. The key, however, is that I had the courage to face what was in front of me and address it. I had the drive and determination to keep moving forward, even if it was slow.
It isn’t always easy. It’s hard more often than not and sometimes it just plain sucks. Welcome to life. We are all going to experience loss. We are all going to experience disappointment. We are all going to have struggles that at the time seem incomprehensible as to how you are going to get through them. But you know what? You will get through them. Why? Because you are a strong person! You are a person with resolve! You are filled with fight! God made you that way! He believes in you and you just need to believe in yourself!
I believe sometimes people are afraid to accept their loss – afraid to embrace their grief and what it represents. It’s easy to get caught in the trap of being afraid to move forward. Just because you accept it doesn’t mean that it is forgotten. Just because you accept it doesn’t make it any less real. Just because you accept it doesn’t mean you can’t look back fondly on the memories you had prior to your loss. Just because you accept it doesn’t mean that which you loved, that which you cherished was never there. Quite the contrary. Once you accept it you will remember those memories, remember that loved one and remember the happy times in a whole new light. You will be able to remember them and look back fondly rather than with pain, sorrow, regret or resentment.
However, it all comes down to a choice and that choice is yours to make and only yours. You need to choose what you want to do. Do you want to remain enslaved to bitterness, anger, denial and sadness or do you want to choose life, hope, happiness and joy? I hope that when the time is right and you are ready that you choose wisely.
Be Great! Be Strong!
If you enjoyed this post, please use the buttons below to share it on social media and enter your email address to be notified when new content is published!