Transitioning Through Loss

exercise heal yourself self self healing self-compassion Oct 31, 2013

Two weeks ago my mother passed from this life. It has been a difficult period and a dramatic transition that has been defined by changes like helping my Dad pack, sell and toss over 50 years of life together. This blog contains advice that I wrote after my beloved dog, Coral, passed. As I deal with losing my mother, I am finding these words helpful. They are giving me permission to ask for support from others and slow down. It is also reassuring to know that I will recover and be back to my creative, energetic self in time.

A couple of years ago, I read the motivational book titled "Embracing Your Potential" by Terry Orlick, PhD. The final chapter is "Gain From Setbacks and Transitions." In this chapter, Orlick defines a transition as "anytime you experience a major emotional event or significant change . . . It may accompany loss or success, illness or injury, change in relationship or family dynamics . . . Any major change in focus or lifestyle involves a transition."

Throughout the chapter, Orlick gives the following advice for transitions.

  • First, expect a down time or period of adaptation. It's normal.
  • Also, allow for rest and relaxation.
  • Next, be sure to take the time to be caressed, refreshed, and rejuvenated by nature, loved ones, and simple joys.
  • Additionally, stay active. But know that it's ok to slow things down.
  • While you process, explain to loved ones that you may need some time alone, time with nature, or support from others to resurface.
  • Meanwhile, expect to return to a more positive state of mind. In time, be ready to embrace new opportunities and face whatever challenges lie ahead.
  • Finally, follow your heart.

Additionally, Orlick offers this insight: "Transitions are wonderful opportunities to think about important things in your life, make a fresh start, get out of settings that have been draining, go places you want to be, spend time with people you love, and make choices about how you really want to live. Every transition provides an opportunity to put things into a more positive perspective and to live with more balance in your life."

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