"There are things we don't want to happen, but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without, but have to let go."
Are all the quotes, videos and blog post on social media regarding "Just let it go!" and "Only think positive Thoughts!" pissing you off or making you feel like you are just not doing life right? This probably sounds ironic coming from me, because those are the messages I send out too - but it's important to know the difference between what to let go and when to allow yourself to grieve. By not allowing yourself proper time to grieve, you might find yourself looking to fill that emotional pain in dangerous ways (drinking or doing drugs, self-harm, neglecting yourself or others), isolating yourself, going through fits of rages and burst of meltdowns or straight up just going bat-shit crazy and not even recognizing why. This can last for a day, months, or years if you don't face the pain to heal it.
Things You Should Give Yourself Permission To Let Go - Let go of drama and gossip fueled by other people. Let go of other's negative opinions of you. Let go of toxic people, places and things. Let go of anger, resentment, comparing, regrets, worrying, blame, guilt, fear, competing, self-loathing, jealousy, and hate. Let go of the "What if's" and "Why me" and just accept what is. Most importantly let go of the past - after you have worked through the pain of it.
Things You Need To Give Yourself Permission To Grieve About - Whatever your mind, body and soul tells you that you need to. Everyone experiences loss at different stages of life and at different intensities. I think it's pretty safe to say that we don't experience grief the same way as someone else does and we don't all experience grief over the same things. Most people think on death of a friend or family member when they hear the word "grief" or "grieving", but one can go through all the stage of grief by losing a job, a friendship, a relationship, your child growing up, your child going off to college, being a victim of a horrendous act, witnessing a tragedy or your child enduring emotional trauma from the act of another person and sometimes we can't even figure out why or what we are grieving.
Here are some steps to help you filter through your emotions so you can recognize it, deal with it and start the process of healing and letting go:
Talk It Out With Someone You Trust
When we are in emotional turmoil it can feel like we are nowhere and everywhere at the same time, our minds our going in a thousand different directions just trying to figure out why we feel the way we feel and that can be pretty damn detrimental to your well being in itself. This can cause confusion, lack of sleep, forgetfulness, self-doubt, and loneliness. Sometimes, what seems so blatantly obvious to others is the one thing we overlook. That's part of denial. Talking it out with someone can make your more aware and more conscious of why you are feeling the way you are and that in itself will start building the momentum to begin the healing process.
Take Some Time To Yourself
Take time to be alone with your own thoughts, away from everyone and everything. Go somewhere peaceful and meditate if you can. If you are not into meditation (which I highly recommend) at least go spend some time outside - there are incredible ways nature can help heal the mind.. If it doesn't work the first time, keep at it. It can only help you, not hurt you. Well, just make sure you're safe!
Write your thoughts down, type them, do it on the sidewalk with chalk for all I care, just get some or all of that shit out. You can can throw it away, delete it or even wash it off when you are done - you just need to release it. Keep putting it down as long as it is coming out. Not only will this help you clear your mind and move through your thoughts and emotions but it will help you release anger, frustration, resentment and by doing that you will find yourself easing up a bit and even sleeping better.
I even go as far as addressing a letter to someone or something that I had been angry with, I never sent it, but I got it out.
Let Those Tears Fall
I don't care if you need to go through 10 boxes of tissue, take as long as you need to flush it out. I have been through days where I have allowed myself to cry so much my eyes were swollen the entire following day. You have to allow yourself to be vulnerable, to feel it, to let it out so you can let some good in.
"I encourage crying because it purges negative energy and allows for new, positive energy to fill us up. Sometimes people feel embarrassed or ashamed about crying, especially in public. Crying is normal and nothing to be ashamed of" -- Sharon Martin, a licensed psychotherapist in a private practice in San Jose, Calif., on the benefits of shedding a few tears.
Every one of us is different, yet we all experience pain. Make your healing a priority. Do what you have to do to be able to move on emotionally and physically in healthy ways so that you can live your life with some love, happiness and peace. Don't forget, you are only human and it's part of life's process -- but you are also resilient and stronger that you give yourself credit for!
This post is part of Common Grief, a Healthy Living editorial initiative. Grief is an inevitable part of life, but that doesn't make navigating it any easier. The deep sorrow that accompanies the death of a loved one, the end of a marriage or even moving far away from home, is real. But while grief is universal, we all grieve differently. So we started Common Grief to help learn from each other. Let's talk about living with loss. If you have a story you'd like to share, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.