Hang in there: finding solace amidst the fallout

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It’s okay if you fall down and lose your spark.
Just make sure that when you get back up,
you rise as the whole damn fire. ~ Colette Werden

The physiological responses that accompany love and heartache can be similar. For example, a new relationship often triggers the pulse to race, or butterflies to replace hunger pangs. Heartache, too, can cause the heartbeat to fluctuate, or a loss of appetite. I find myself seized by the latter illustration—tears swift to dampen my lashes, my belly hollow. During a recent trip, I picked up a silver kitty pendant that hangs onto the delicate chain by its front legs—a twofold reminder: that life is fragile, and to ‘hang in there.’ On the heels of my post, ‘Letting go…,’ I wear this talisman for solace, of sorts, amidst the fallout of a severed friendship. My spark(le) may have dimmed, but soon I will fan the flames and ignite my passion ablaze.

Where do you find solace within the heartache?

Photo source: sanctuaryspring.com.

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Got grief? Strategies to help manage heartache

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Grief, like cancer, is not biased. Although grief, or heartache, focuses on the psyche, it can still kill: hope, good intentions, innocence. In “Moving forward through grief,” I talk about the stages of grief that many of us will or have encountered. No one situation looks the same; likewise, no one person assimilates grief the same way. Additionally, I believe this soul-deep sorrow can extend beyond loss into territories of unfulfilled dreams, unanswered prayer, disillusionment, broken relationships, failing health and so on. What we require is not a one-size-fits-all solution, but remedies we can apply to help us transition through it:

  • Accept it: understand grief is a normal part of life
  • Be patient: cut slack—with yourself and others—when appropriate
  • Allow time: rest, rejuvenate and replenish as necessary
  • Walk through it: realize it is only temporary; avoid setting up camp
  • Admit a need: know when to ask for and/or to accept help
  • Say no: don’t apologize, minimize or make excuses

What’s your strategy for coping with grief?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Moving forward through the grief

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Moving through grief

[Image credit: -Marcus-]

It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’
I do not agree. The wounds remain.
In time, the mind, protecting its sanity,
covers them with scar tissue
and the pain lessens.
But it is never gone.
~ Rose Kennedy

Nearly a month has passed since my family experienced an event that garnered much heartache. One of those situations where you don’t know how you would handle it unless you’ve been there, done that. Even now, I’m not sure how I should feel or react. I’ve found myself going through the various stages of grief: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and — hopefully one day — acceptance. Or something similar. I have even struggled with guilt. Yet as I move forward and the wounds still linger, the pain continues to lessen. I wish there was a quick fix to ease the transition through each stage. But I’ve been allowing myself to laugh again, while looking for joy in what remains.

What is your secret to moving forward through the grief?

Healing a broken heart

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Healing a broken heart

[Image credit: fotographic 1980]

Time can heal a broken heart
but it can also break a waiting heart.
~ Unknown

The box thing (see Outside of the box) isn’t working so well. It’s just not in my nature to compartmentalize my feelings. In fact, I wear pretty much all my emotions on my sleeve. And now I’m nursing a broken heart. I’ve known heartache over the years, but never at this magnitude. While I wait for time to heal it, it continues to break as it waits — for healing, for dreams to come true, for promises to be kept. For time to pass. In any case, time has slowed to a crawl for this grieving heart. “They” purport that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. But what about the part of you that dies as you keep on living? The part no one can see? I wish there was an easy fix, but apparently time is in no hurry and the journey isn’t over.

Has time healed or broken your heart?

Try thankfulness

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[Image credit: David Castillo Dominici]

If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness.
It will change your life mightily.
~ Gerald Good

Several people in my life are struggling with illness and chronic pain.  Others are in dire financial straits.  At least two friends suffer from psychological issues and medication side effects; a few couples are going through the motions; an acquaintance goes to work and stagnates a little more each day.  A father sacrifices in the name of love.  Loss, heartache, regrets, poor choices.  Each of us bears our own cross.  But in the midst of it, finding one thing to be thankful for may make all the difference in the world.  Perhaps the person ahead of you in line paid for your coffee this morning.  Or you find the missing five dollars tucked between the receipts in your wallet.  A kind word spoken.  Second chances.  Pep-talks.  Another sunrise and sunset.  Every day find one thing to be thankful for.  It could just change everything.

What’s on your holiday agenda?

Salvaging our enthusiasm

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[Image credit: nattavut]

In many of my posts, I talk about picking up the pieces and moving forward: from disappointment, setbacks, doubt, roadblocks, heartache.  Whatever it is we’re trying to put behind us.  But how do we actually salvage the enthusiasm to keep going?  Perhaps we replace an old dream with a new one or find a hobby we’re passionate about.  Others give of themselves through volunteer opportunities.  Maybe you’re finally taking that long-awaited trip or you’ve alphabetized your office files.  Everyone is different when it comes to getting excited about facing each new day.  The key is to discover what it is that inspires you.  Perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones who stash a few of these prompts in your back pocket to take them out at will.  But for others, ask yourself if money, time or any other obstruction didn’t exist, what would be the one thing that compels you to action.  Then imagine your life depended on it.

What is the one thing that inspires your enthusiasm?

Forgiveness leads to freedom

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[Image credit:bigjom]

My daughter is one of the most forgiving people I know, and just as easily can forget.  I am freely able to request it for myself, but offering pardon to someone else is another story.  Although, since losing a friendship, as well as addressing some of my less than desirable character traits, I understand that in order to fully pick up the pieces and move past this moment in time, I must do some forgiving of my own (even of myself).  When we feel wronged or slighted, however, it’s challenging to 1) own up to our part in the tango (it takes two, remember?) and 2) offer absolution (especially when it hasn’t been sought).  But I’ve found it’s truly the only way to “let it go” and, in the process, find freedom.  Freedom to give our dreams that facelift I talk about in The changing face of our dreams, freedom to finally forget the heartache or freedom simply to start over.

Is it easier for you to forgive or to forget?

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