Back in the Driver’s Seat
Nothing is fair about someone we love dying. For a few, there might be a sense of relief after a “long good bye.” We might be grateful that pain and suffering are no longer playing havoc with the body and mind of our loved one. Yet, it is terribly unfair for us to be left alone, to begin to find our way in the darkness and isolation that grieving often offers.
Feeling out of Control?
Some of us are more prone to feel victimized when circumstances leave us feeling out of control. We have not discovered the potential of having much more power over our reactions to outside events than we ever thought possible.
I know you ache in your whole being. I did also. And so I write for you, my friend. I write for those who are overcome with sorrow and feel helpless to regain any sense of control in your life. Grief is difficult and the only cure for grief is to grieve. So how can we do that in a healthy way?
When feeling victimized in your grief, you can take steps to put yourself back in control. Here are a few ideas that might help.
- Choose one or more healthy actions for your body each day. i.e. take a walk or exercise of your choice, drink 8 glasses of water, eat a healthy meal, get outdoors, take a nap.
- Choose to reach out to someone and let them know how you are honestly doing
- Choose to write your current experience in a journal
- Choose to read Scripture* and meditate on its application for you
- Choose to remember good memories
- Choose to make a list of the things you can control such as: you control your personal hygiene, what you want to eat, when you eat, what you wear, who you talk to, the steps you are taking to choose healthy responses rather than unwise reactions, etc.
- Choose to do one thing you enjoy like: gardening, fishing, cooking, coloring, or work on a puzzle or craft/hobby. The pain might try to overtake your attempt, but relax and stay with it. Just engage with it for a short time.
- Choose to give yourself permission to cry. Tears are an extremely healthy release for the tension and toxins that grief builds up in the body.
The point is, we have lost control of circumstances around us, but we still have the ability to choose our reactions to the trauma and pain. We can suffer as victims or push through as victors. No one has taken away your freedom of choice. How you choose either takes you nearer or further to regaining personal control.
Back in the Driver’s Seat
I’d like to see you back in your driver’s seat. You have direct control over your thinking and the actions you choose. While making positive choices for your thinking and actions, you are helping your body and emotions to cooperate and come along for the ride. When you have an emotional flat tire it becomes difficult to navigate through your day. So attend to the “flat” by revisiting the list above and put yourself back in your driver’s seat. Take control of your responses and you will find it a little easier to do the grieving necessary to grieve.
*Psalm 147:3, Isaiah 40:31, Philp. 4:19, I Peter 5:7, Psalm 23, John 14:16