5 Spiritual Principles To Help You Recover After A Loss
“Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but be fearless in facing them. Let me not beg for stilling of my pain, but for the heart to conquer it. Let me not crave in anxious fear to be saved, but hope for the patience to win my freedom.” – Rabindranath Tagore
Loss and change is universal and an essential part of our human experience that we all share. It comes in tangible and intangible forms that may define who we believe we are. At any given moment there could be a loss of relationship, job, status, health, finances, material possessions, hopes, and dreams. It can be overwhelming and at times seems insurmountable.
Our self-concept may be defined by our level of attachment, beliefs, and values that are intertwined with these precious losses. As a result, it impacts how we are perceived, not only by ourselves but by others. Who am I now? Will my life ever be the same? How can I overcome it? These are essential questions contemplated as we focus our attention on the process of recovery.
Losses can upset our equilibrium with feelings of fear mired in grief with no perceived foundation on which to rebuild. Feelings of unworthiness may be magnified and trigger memories from pass losses that compound the problem. My profound awakening and recovery from loss, from what seemed to be minor, was an excavation of the cornerstone that triggered unresolved grief from past losses. These losses went as far back as the loss of my childhood sweetheart who was killed in a car accident, the death of my beloved grandmother, and a series of losses and life-changing events.
On the brink of despair, a dream revealed five keys for conscious recovery that helped me overcome the loss experience. In the hospital room of my grandmother, who passed away over a decade, I went to check on her in the bathroom and found her lifeless body in a tub of water. Screaming at the top of my voice and crying profusely, I laid on the bed drenched with water and soaking wet. As I laid sobbing from the depths of my heart, I felt a presence lift my wet clothing from my body like a blanket. I heard, “lift the cloak of heaviness and exchange it for the spiritual garment of praise” and “come to me all who are burdened and I will give you rest”. These are Biblical scriptures.
Awakening from the dream with tears rolling down my face, it seemed surreal. The dream revealed the way out of my suffering. The hospital room represented my need for healing and the dead corpse was not my grandmother but I, who was dead from emotional exhaustion and grief. Out of this dream was born the Five Keys for Conscious Recovery: Surrender, humility, compassion, resilience, and gratitude.
Surrender is letting go and the catalyst for transformation. There is power in surrender. Stop fighting, resisting, and feeling victimized. Where you are is exactly where you need to be to overcome. Relinquishing control to a power greater than the physical self is essential to connect with your true source. Through meditation and prayer, I became calm, peaceful, and connected to my inner voice.
Humility is the death of the ego, false core beliefs, and attachments that magnify feelings of unworthiness as a result of the loss experience. We are human and have the capacity to embrace the fullness of life. We can build on each experience without being emotionally devastated. Humility enables us to accept where we are, listen to our inner guidance, experience the freedom of non-attachment and self-importance, and become more authentic and value ourselves.
Compassion enables us to treat ourselves with loving-kindness, reframe from self-condemnation, and forgive ourselves and others. Quieting the inner-critic, negative self-talk and destructive thinking requires conscious awareness and alertness that inhibits a rapid downward spiral. Even though it is essential to accept and acknowledge our thoughts and feelings, we should immediately supplanting negative thoughts with positive ones. Love is our natural state of being and is the ultimate healer that sustains us through loss and life-changing events.
Resilience is the capacity to recover from life difficulties, learn valuable life lessons, and come back stronger. Trials and tribulations that manifest in our lives are there to make us stronger. At the core, we are spiritual beings having a human experience with great power. Trusting ourselves and having faith and determination can sustain us through any challenge that is presented.
Gratitude is victory! Gratitude shines away darkness and brings joy into our lives. Expressions of thanks and praise immediately shift our state of being. Each breath and present moment reminds us of the precious gift of life. Being grateful enabled me to see and experience the abundance of life and marvel at the beauty in small things. Take time to not only express thanks and praise but feel and embody gratitude as a way of life.
Being consciously aware of our divine power secures us with inner strength to face life challenges and recover from losses. We have the power to overcome adversity and become stronger. The Five Keys For Conscious Recovery: Surrender, Humility, Compassion, Resilience, and Gratitude, is not only for losses, but spiritual practices incorporated in my daily life. If necessary, seek medical attention, spiritual resources, and viable support systems to enable the recovery process.
Nurture the whole self with the following suggestions: Remain hopeful and optimistic, strive for inner peace, maintain a healthy physical regimen, be open to new ideas and experiences, ignite your creativity and passion, connect with supportive people, and volunteer in the community. Life is a continuous process of growth and self-discovery.
We have the innate capacity to move beyond our perceived losses, experience greater freedom, and make better choices to flourish in our lives. Live well and celebrate your victories!
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