No one escapes a major life change. It is painful to know that you’ve lost something you aren’t sure you can live without. Whether it’s a job, a relationship or something else entirely, there are things you can and should do after experiencing a major loss.
Let go of blame
Sometimes things just happen. Sometimes no one is to blame. And yet, it’s so easy for our minds to search for the answer to who is to blame. Too often we blame ourselves for making a certain decision that seemed to cause a domino effect. Or we tell ourselves if we were different somehow, we wouldn’t have made that mistake that leads to the loss. Blame and judgment serve no purpose. In fact, they hold us back from moving forward past the pain.
Be extra gentle with yourself
Once you let go of assigning blame, it’s easier to be especially kind to yourself. That means different things to different people. How can you do this? You might take the vacation time you have to give yourself space to grieve. Or you may get a massage or spend time with a trusted, loving friend. Or you might sleep most of the weekend. Whatever it is, it’s fine. Just cut yourself some slack right now – it’s allowed!
Allow yourself to feel
The last thing we want is to feel pain and sadness. But doing so is an important part of the healing process. Find a safe place to do that, whether it’s at home alone, with a trusted friend or advisor or even during your yoga class. Pushing away those “bad” feelings will only intensify how strong they are and how long they last.
Ask for help
We often feel shame or embarrassment when chaos ensues in our lives. We look around and see that everyone else’s life looks perfect and we wonder why that isn’t us. The fact is, no one’s life is perfect… ever. We just put our best faces forwards. It’s safe to ask for help from friends and family who love you. If you feel you need professional help to deal with the situation, that is exactly what you need and you should seek someone out whom you trust. There should be no shame in asking for help during this challenging time.
Only do what’s necessary
Now is the time to let someone else take over for a while. Take some time off from responsibilities that aren’t vital to you or others’ survival. Step down from committees or from hosting a big party, even if the invitations have already been sent. Just focus on today and what needs to be done, and only that.
Now, you may have come across what follows more than once before, but they have a whole new meaning when you are going through a major life transition and it feels like everything’s falling apart:
You aren’t alone
Everyone goes through challenging times, they just don’t tend to advertise it. You can rest assured that your friends and family understand your feelings and will be willing to help you in any way they can.
It’s okay to cut yourself some slack
There’s no doubt that you will need time to experience all of the feelings that come about with a major life change. Give yourself a break from all the unimportant or non-urgent things that tend to fill up life. Just take it easy and heal your heart.
All things are impermanent
It feels like this confusion and pain will last forever, that you’ll never be happy again, but that isn’t true. Everything in life changes. Nothing is permanent. You can trust that this transition is just that – a change that will eventually settle into a new opportunity.
It’s okay to let go of things that aren’t serving you
We like to keep the status quo because it makes us feel safe. But, at some point, we have to let go of things such as people and situations that are holding us back from our highest good. Though it’s not always easy, it’s a natural part of life.
There is always something to be grateful for
Your life may look grim, but if you want to find goodness and beauty in your life, you can. You may not have the same life you had two weeks ago, but you have friends who love you. You can appreciate the beauty of the setting sun. Every life has wondrous things in it, we just have to notice them.
It’s okay to say no to negativity
While you surely have friends and family who are loving and supportive, it’s also possible that there are a few negative Nelly’s in your environment also. Especially now, it’s a good idea to say no to their invitations to hang out. When you feel stronger, you can decide if they are someone you want to continue to have a relationship with. But for now, just say no – as nicely as you can.