06.27.13 Truth & Wisdom

How to Deal with Grief and Harness Your Special Powers

How to Deal with Grief and Harness Your Special Powers

BY Christina Rasmussen

Whoever you are, I know you have been hurt in the past and you had to leave a part of you behind. I have too been bathed with tragedy and loss. But because of it I have experienced a magnificent life.

You see, grief is an inhuman experience, taking place in a human body. All of our bodies experience grief many times.
But our world would rather send people to the moon than help us transform our lives after grief: the one certain life experience we will have.

If you are reading this and you have experienced a broken heart please keep on reading. I will help you not only mend your heart but find new pieces to add to it.

My heart broke to pieces in July 21, 2006, when my beloved husband died at age 35. I don’t think I will ever have the words to articulate the experience of my heart breaking. I thought I would hear the break, but grief is a silent intruder. She breaks the heart in a very muted way. Your heart goes from unbroken to broken in a second. And life is never the same.

When he died, I was transported into a brand new world. I died along with him but I got to keep my body. I looked the same on the outside but everything changed on the inside. And that was the first time I experienced the duality of loss.

You see I studied grief in graduate school. I wrote my thesis on the stages of bereavement. But nothing could have prepared me for the gruesome part of grief.

Theory did not match reality. I was left alone to find my way back to reentry.

Everyone thought I was doing so well after the loss. I had a great corporate job, I took care of my kids and because of the lack of appetite I had even reached my perfect body weight. I looked better than ever.

I took on single motherhood, I worked day in and day out, I provided for my girls, and yes I became stronger. But it took me years to get back. Getting back to life should not take forever.

What nobody told me during those first years was that when we go through the unimaginable we can do the impossible. Nobody mentioned the special powers that you acquire when your heart tragically breaks. It took me three years to start using those special powers.

I am writing to you today because I do not want you to wait any longer to start loving and living again. I want to help you find the special portals that surround your life after loss and leap inside so you can get back to a full passionate life. But, be ready to surprise yourself. I surprised myself when I re-entered life after loss. Yes I was still scared, but that no longer stopped me. I stepped into actions that were so unlike the self prior to the loss. I may have even looked crazy from the outside sometimes. Not only did I fall in love again, but I created a brand new world of fresh beginnings and have helped thousands of people create a brand new life after loss.

I did that with these five simple steps:

Get Real.
Unfortunately without reflection and insight we cannot understand our loss. Without speaking the pain out loud and writing it out we cannot start over. So after you finish reading this blog, either call your best friend and ask her to record the words that will pour out or grab a journal and start writing without stopping until everything has come out.
Read your words after, or listen to the recording. You have to discover where you are in your grief today. Sometimes grief tricks us into believing that we are still in grief when we are actually not. What we are is stuck. Stuck in a place between two lives. You will actually get unstuck and feel a little bit of eagerness to connect again once you start telling yourself the truth. You will want to say things to yourself about what you need to do next. You will become your own best friend.

Plug in.
This step is about taking small steps towards the life that you want. However scared you are, worried or uncomfortable you feel…. you must start to plug in to the life you hope to have. I ask of you to take a very small step each day to experience a small part of the life that is waiting for you. For example change your hair, buy a new dress go to work a different way. Remember your identity has changed after your loss and you need to start looking the part of the new you. So plug in a little bit at a time and watch life shifting. The plug ins must happen in order for you to step outside of The Waiting Room: The place where we go to wait until we feel better. The Waiting Room becomes Life for so many people and they forget to get out. Don’t be one of those people who went to wait and forget to live again. Let’s open the door and plug in one small step at a time.

Shift.
I always believed that words can change everything. Every word that you utter gives you a glimpse of the life that is coming ahead. If you say: I will never love again. Then you will never love again. If you say: Nobody wants to be with me then nobody will. This step is all about changing the words so your tomorrow will be different. Do not underestimate this step. It is one of the most powerful ones. You can plug in to the new life all you want but if you continue to tell yourself that life is unfair your plug ins will only lead you to an unfair life. Changing our grief words with life words is vital for our journey back.

Discover.
One certain thing that takes place after loss is dramatic change. However when we change we actually cannot see it. Change does not show up at our door with a big announcement. Change is very subtle in many ways. It only becomes visible when we start speaking our truth and asking for what we want from the people around us. In this step you will have to renegotiate old relationships. Break up with old friends who no longer align with your life. Let the real you step out even if you think that the people in your life might disapprove. The only way you will discover who you are becoming is by asking for what you want every single day. Grief has given you big guts. Use them. Step out and let others get to know you all over again.

Re-entry.
Now that you have told yourself the truth, dared to take action and changed your words, it is time to re-enter. Grief has made you one heck of a human being. Somehow the impossible has a different meaning for you now. Re-entry happens when your heart melts with the simple things of life.

Compassion becomes the primary emotion and it brings you closer to so many people. You feel more connected. And because of that you dare to take action to make your dreams come true. Most people who have left a mark in the world are people who have suffered great losses early on in their lives.

Please look at your broken heart from where I am sitting and you will see something so beautiful. Evolution takes place not when our hearts break, but when our hearts mend. Your heart is not meant to be broken forever.

You can start the mending process by taking action today.

Christina's personal story and fresh approach to life after loss has garnered international attention. She has been featured as a Woman Working to Do Good in the White House blog and was named the Leading mom in business by Start Up Nation. Christina's first book, Second Firsts: Live, Laugh and Love Again will be released November 4th, 2013 by Hay House. She is also the founder of the non profit The Life Starters, an action-oriented social network for people who have felt all alone in their grief and are stuck in their Waiting Room. As the founder of Second Firsts she spends her time speaking, coaching and helping thousands of people re-enter life. Christina experienced the agony of sudden loss first hand, when in 2006 she lost her 35-year-old husband to colon cancer. With two daughters in tow she begun the tender process of transforming her tragedy into a new career a renewed sense of purpose and a life of joy. You can read more of her work on The Message in a Bottle. you can also connect with Christina on Facebook and Twitter.

Comments

  • Name

    thank you .

    • Christina Rasmussen

      You are so welcome!!

  • robinplemmons

    Thank you for this, Christina. I’m trudging through the loss of my husband right now & although he is still alive, it feels like a death. I haven’t known just how to go about my life with the weight of pain on my chest. I’m certainly learning so much about myself & soaking it all in & writing it all down, which is so good. These are great tools, especially the “new you” perspective. It makes me feel like the whole world is before me. Now I have to share my own story. Hopefully I’ll have enough courage to get it all out.

    • Christina Rasmussen

      Yes a new life is waiting for you!!! Get everything out. Write it. Read it. Cry it. Understand it, then take small steps towards the life you want. Outside of the waiting room.
      Love
      Christina

  • Yuriy

    Beautiful article 🙂 thank you Christina <3
    ps that photo of you with flowy hair is so cute lol 😉

    • Christina Rasmussen

      Thank you so much. It is one of my favorites!!

  • LissaMarie

    I lost my best friend, my other half, my boyfriend of 5 years this past July. My world is still coming into focus as a new person. And this has helped me so much!

Every week in your inbox!

  • Exclusive notes and videos from Amanda de Cadenet.
  • Early access to our Limited Space Workshops.
  • Amanda’s Favorites and Special Offers shared with you weekly.
  • Exclusive notes and videos from Amanda de Cadenet.
  • Early access to our Limited Space Workshops.
  • Amanda’s Favorites and Special Offers shared with you weekly.
Subscribe Now

to receive our newsletter every Tuesday.

Sign up here for my Weekly Newsletter and Exclusive Updates: