woman sadly sits beside beach head on knees crying
by Vance Larson

“Let yourself breathe. Take time to grieve.”

Far too many times my clients move from one relationship to another. I also see this with the passing of a loved one, and even when losing an pet. We rush ourselves and miss out on an important lesson. The grieving. Why is grieving important? It gives us depth and perception. When we don’t take the time to grieve, we don’t honor our part in the life and loss of a loved one, or relationship.

There is a beauty that comes with grief. As we play out the dance of that person, animal or relationship in our mind, we validate the energies that were exchanged between us. The losing of a loved one should be a sacred act. But many times we deny, avoid or suppress our natural feelings of loss. We turn to the next distraction, that many times comes in the form of a replacement. We jump into the next relationship, we get a new animal or worse, we bury our heads in high risk behaviors. So I go back to “Let yourself breathe. Take time to grieve.”

I am often asked how long is the grieving process? The truth is that it will vary greatly for every individual. My wife always jokes calling me inhuman. My 2 decades working as a crisis counselor has indeed desensitized me to a lot of things. After 20 years of watching the worst case play out, you just learn to keep going. It has been the same thing in terms of panic for me. It is something that I just don’t do. But what my wife doesn’t see is the hours and hours of daily meditation that I pour into those relationships, and reflect on all the personal and professional losses that I have endured.

“We owe it to our future self.”

We have conditioned ourselves not to feel. We take medications to block those feelings. {Please note that there are many times when medication is appropriate.} We drink to avoid feelings of loss. We jump into that next relationship to prove we are okay. Whatever happened with it being okay to not being okay? Why are we in such a rush to move on? It’s okay to breathe. It’s okay to hurt. It’s okay to feel the loss and mourn. It’s not okay to deny these {healthy} feelings. In fact, we owe it to our future self to feel them.

Suppressed feelings will eventually surface. There is no rhyme or reason to this. They just do. They will manifest in our health and relationships. I use one example all the time. Jumping from relationship to relationship breeds the same outcome for each relationship. A loss is a loss. We need time to reset and reflect.

“We as humans are not designed to not feel.”

I recall working with clients who have lost a loved one and did not skip a beat with it came time for their daily routine, only to have the grief surface many years later. And now, not only did they have to deal with the grieving process, they had to contend with the guilt of not allowing themselves to grieve in the first place. We as humans are not designed to not feel. The grieving process for some will move rather quickly. For others, it could take many years. The important thing is to allow yourself to feel.

Because life will be filled with loss. But if we embrace it, the grieving process can be both beautiful and transformational. So do yourself a favor. Let yourself breathe. Take time to grieve.

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