The Energy Levels of Grief
“There is so much inherent power in loss, power that can be used as an unlimited source of fuel to set yourself into motion so you can start the process of rebuilding your life.”
It’s been reported that it takes people 5-8 years, on average, to recover from a devastating loss.
Dealing with loss leaves you vulnerable to developing depression or anxiety disorders, or increasing dependency on drugs or alcohol as a means to cope. These more serious conditions often lead people to seek treatment from a therapist or counselor, and there are many, many excellent, dedicated professionals to which you can turn to get the help you need if that is what you are going through.
However, most of the people I speak with about their loss are experiencing the normal, natural responses to loss – and that is grief.
Grief is a stress reaction and, if you are grieving, you know that it takes a lot out of you. It takes an enormous amount of energy to keep plodding through your life when you are grieving. It’s a chicken-and-egg kind of thing. You don’t have the energy to do the things that would raise your energy.
And, grief is not who you are.
I encourage you to see if some of these thoughts sound familiar to you:
“I feel incapable of creating a new life.” “I feel unmotivated and have no energy to move forward.” “I feel guilty for things I’ve done (or not done).” “I don’t know how to make any of the decisions I need to make now.” “I have lost the ability to concentrate on anything.” “I feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.” “I’ll never get over this.”
These kinds of thoughts are indicators that you are viewing life out of the perceptual filter of the victim. I know, I can feel you cringing and pulling back as if you’ve been slapped. Hang in here with me, OK?
What I mean by “victim” here is that you are viewing life from the lowest level of energy possible, that you feel you are at the effect of things, that life is happening TO you. The underlying thought of this energy level is “I lose.” And, it’s understandable that you feel this way. Believe me, I get it. We all feel this way from time to time. And, something big and heavy HAS happened to you and it’s OK to spend some time licking your wounds before you feel ready to move forward.
The question I have for you is, how long do you want to stay here?
There is another level of energy that is common in grieving: that of conflict. These are the thoughts of:
“I can’t trust anyone around me.” “They did something wrong and they should pay for it.” “If I don’t fight for myself (or my family) I will get taken advantage of.” “I’ll never forgive _____ for ______.”
Strong feelings of anger, resentment, betrayal, and defiance are common at this energy level. It’s still a reactive place, but it has more “oomph” to it than “I lose.” And a person can get stuck here for a very long time, creating more losses in their lives as they push away the people around them who do care and attach themselves to the need to be right. This is an attempt to regain control in an out-of-control world.
There are positive intentions behind these reactions, like protection and survival. Again my question is, “how long do you want to stay here?”
If your life before your loss did not consist of living at the levels of protection and survival, then you have the sense that this is not who you are. You may be wanting to make your way back to your authentic way of being in the world. And, you may not know how. You may have been told that you just have to wait, that time will heal your wounds. I’m here to tell you that you have more power, more energy available to you than you may think. At some point, you will decide that enough is enough, that you’re not going to let this grief define you any more, that it’s time to start thriving instead of surviving.
You won’t be returning to the life that you had before your loss. However, you do have the opportunity to pick up the pieces and rebuild your life – recreate your new life – and experience the qualities of peace, acceptance, fulfillment, and even joy. I’m here to help.
Love and Blessings on Your Journey,