How To Restore Emotional Balance
Now's the time to sow ... seeds of truth, discernment, receptivity, confidence and courage. Unless you live in a part of the world where temperatures never go below freezing, you are probably ready to kiss this seemingly never-ending winter good-bye! The first day of Spring brings with it hope and promise. This makes it a great time to restore emotional balance.
Though all four seasons are approximately the same number of days in length, there is something about winter that makes it feel longer than it really is. Winter is a cold, dark, dormant, and damp, and so is the season that people experience immediately following a loss.
Regardless of when a loss occurs, a grieving person enters a winter-like period. It is hard to feel warmth when numbness has set in. It is difficult to see when the very thing that brought light to life has been extinguished. It is nearly impossible to envision enthusiasm for life. And the tears – they just will not cease to flow.
During this period, turning inward in the stillness and quiet is a natural tendency. In fact, it is a needed opportunity to recharge one’s body and nourish the soul.
Most grieving people will eventually and instinctively know when it is time to move forward. A sense of restlessness begins to set in as the healthier, stronger person begins to break through from an emotional and spiritual dormancy.
The signs look something like this:
· Today was the first day you did not cry since your loss.
· You are beginning to take an interest again in things your enjoyed before your loss.
· Possibilities for the future are beginning to give way to the heaviness of the moment.
· You have begun rearranging your physical environment to accommodate your new life.
· What is happening in the lives of people you love is important to you again.
It is spring in the grieving heart. The darkness of winter is being replaced with more daylight. Vegetation emerges proving that what just days ago had appeared dead was very much alive. The lethargy, tendency to withdraw, depression, and irritability we feel in the winter of our lives begins to decrease as the excitement, anticipation, and celebration of springtime increases.
As more time passes after the grief-inducing event, the lens through which we see becomes wider. Increased daylight helps us see our situation in a whole new light and for a greater length of time. After having been in the doldrums of winter, spring is a sensory heaven. The sights, smells, sounds, tastes, and textures of spring all point to cleansing, growth, promise, and life. Think about it.
One can see crocuses stubbornly popping up through the snow. One can smell the organic material in soil being cultivated to receive seeds. One can hear the voices of children playing outside again. One can taste the freshness of candies that will fill children’s Easter baskets. One can touch the warmth of sun shining on the face.
People who have been grieving and who also want to restore joy in their lives can maximize the benefits of this new season.
Taking the time to answer these sensory-related questions and will help people learn which “seeds” to plant this spring.
RESTORE EMOTIONAL BALANCE WITH YOUR SENSES
~ EXERCISE ~
“What are you hiding in the depth of your heart that needs to come out into the light for you to heal?”
· Are you harboring resentment toward someone?
· Have you been selective in disclosing the truth about your situation?
· Is your understanding of what caused your loss complete?
Plant a seed of truth. Cultivate a commitment to being honest with yourself about your situation.
“If you were to ‘wake up and smell the roses’ what has been happening around you that was obvious to everyone but you?”
· In retrospect, were there signs that the loss you experienced could have been avoided?
· Did you see the signs but refused to acknowledge them?
· What did others try to warn you about?
Plant a seed of discernment. Cultivate a commitment to discern the validity of solicited and unsolicited feedback from people you trust.
“What are you hearing from other family members and friends?”
· What are loved ones encouraging you to do now?
· Are you hearing the same messages from several people?
· What are people saying through their actions toward you?
Plant a seed of receptivity. Cultivate a commitment to listen open-mindedly to verbal and non-verbal messages delivered by people who love you.
“What would you like to try, but you aren’t sure you should?”
· What would you do if you were more ___________ (attractive, educated, wealthy, slender, etc.)?
· What would you do if you were sure you would not ____________ (fail, cry, look stupid, etc.)?
Plant a seed of confidence. Cultivate a commitment to boldly do what you believe God is calling you to do.
“Where have you been “hands-off” that you now think you are ready for a more “hands on” approach?”
· What topics about your loss have you been unwilling to talk about candidly?
· What tasks is someone else doing for you that you could be doing for yourself?
· Who has taken over an area of your life that you would like to reclaim?
Plant a seed of courage. Cultivate a commitment to learn new things and stretch your comfort zone.
NURTURE YOUR GARDEN
Gardening is hard work. It is relatively easy to plant the seeds, but it takes a true commitment to be consistent in caring for them. Be patient with the process. It will take time to see the rewards of your labor. Do not expect too much of yourself. If you have never planted a garden before, be prepared to learn a few lessons the hard way. Understand that not all seeds you plant will grow. Expect some weeds to pop up during this growth season. If the responsibility of tending to this garden seems too big to handle alone, find someone to mentor you and hold you accountable. When it’s time to reap the rewards of what has been sown, you’ll be amazed at what your investment of time and emotional energy has produced!
RESOURCES TO HELP YOU SUCCCEED
Whether you are a beginning or expert gardener, there are resources to help you succeed. When you are ready to restore joy in your life, the Grief Coaching Center can help. Start by finding out if joy restoration coaching is for you with the free coaching readiness assessment. Then download the free Grief 9-1-1 Kit, a self-coaching guide to designing your pain management plan. Finally, the highly acclaimed 7-Step Happiness by Choice Method© is the basis of the eight-session Joy Restoration Coaching program where our Personal Peace Planner is customized just for you. Though we cannot eliminate your pain, we guarantee you will have the tools to improve the quality of your life because of completing all the steps.
MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Personal Peace Advocate, Debbie Stankovich, MCLC is a Master Christian Life Coach and trainer at PCCCA. She is also certified as a PCCCA Joy Restoration Coach, Grief Coach, and Christian Counselor. As the president and lead coach of the Grief Coaching Center, she delights in helping people who have suffered loss smile again.
Debbie is based in the Seattle, WA area. You can learn more about Debbie’s passion for coaching and joy restoration at http://griefcoachingcenter.com.
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