Grieving Well for Clearer Vision
WOW, happy New Year to you all! Many of you may feel relieved that the page was turned from 2020 to 2021. Maybe you feel excited for a fresh start, anticipating new possibilities ahead. However, many of you may feel grieved to your core: hopeless, broken, and worn slap out. You could be feeling a mix of it all; or somewhere in-between feeling indifferent, uncertain, and a bit anxious. Wherever you find yourself, there’s space for it today.
At the dawn of 2020 the year was often excitedly referred to the year of 20/20 vision. Twist after turn, we all realized the year was not what we thought it’d be – but what if it actually still revealed to us exactly what it was supposed to? I wonder what treasures are to be discovered? You may be ready to just move on from last year (rightfully so) but as the saying also goes: “hindsight is 20/20,” so I can’t help but wonder what we need to look back on before moving forward. Valuable lessons can be learned when taking a moment to reflect, and the challenge is to not get stuck or leave your gaze there.
I made an unexpected discovery in 2020 – my healing journey and vision casting could actually travel parallel to one another. In the past I’ve felt I needed to have it all together before stepping out. Last year was different, though; I found that in the midst of dead dreams, pain became a birthplace of newfound hope, life, and growth. Taking the necessary time to grieve, process, rest, and heal actually became a key to receiving clear vision. Each moment of time intentionally spent doing this ended up showing me that what I thought would be lost was actually time that was redeemed.
What does that even mean to “grieve well?” Perhaps it’s not as simple as asking that question. Each individual person uniquely experiences grief as only they can, and this can be both challenging to understand and beautiful to accept. It is noteworthy when others, or our own selves, extend the freedom to grieve to the depth one needs. The following perspective I will share is not meant to be professional advice – I am merely offering insight from the process I have experienced myself.
A few things I have learned that “grieving well” could mean are: acknowledging the loss or losses, not suppressing your feelings, and allowing yourself to go through the different stages of grief. It could mean reaching out to a few trusted friends and inviting them to be with you in your grief; to include a professional counselor in your journey to help; and continue to extend grace to yourself and others during the process.
Some practical things I have found to be helpful include spending time in nature, taking time to slow down and notice the little things, developing a new hobby, and practicing thankfulness. Gratitude can be a perspective shifter – sounds simple (and also not so easy when one has lost something) but thankfulness really can help. It can cause us to gain sight of what we still have and see gifts we have been given even in the midst of challenge and loss.
No matter how little or big the loss, I’ve found that grieving what once was is vitally important to our health and to whole-hearted living. It is certainly an ever-evolving process, but grieving well can help us better accept what is to come. Feelings can be scary, but they are healthy. These feelings can help move you through the grieving process. As you continue to press forward, even just taking one baby step at a time, grieving well hopefully can ultimately allow us to open up again, receiving newfound hope.
2020 involved both compounded individual grief and collective global grief. How much more important could it be right now to really take a moment to pause, reflect, process, ask for help and do the necessary (sometimes uncomfortable) heart work of moving into healing?
I’d like to leave you with a few questions in light of this topic and the new year. Feel free to consider these in your own way of reflection.
- Looking back over the days, weeks, and months of 2020 what do you clearly see about your life that you didn’t realize before?
- What priorities did 2020 reveal to you that are actually most important in your life? What may you need to re-prioritize based on those insights?
- What gifts did you receive in the midst of the past years challenges?
- What’s one thing, today, that you have to be thankful for?
- How might these answers be able to impact how you live in 2021?
If you have insight into this with a conversation to share, please leave your comment below, send an email, or connect over social media!
Edited by: Alida Cassinari, @hacassinari