When grief is fresh and raw, you simply need to attend to your pain. Over the months and years, grief goes through an alchemy. How you respond to your grief is what opens up the space for change.
There are innumerable examples of people who have suffered devastating losses, but are living their best lives as a result of how they moved through those losses. “Best life” here doesn’t mean money, fame, or success (although some people have had those experiences as well).
It means living a life of meaning. A life where they use their transformation to inspire other people and make a difference in the world. A life where they get crystal-clear about what truly matters and live closely aligned to their deepest values.
To me, that is a great life. It is a life that is authentic, passionate, and purposeful.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) was birthed by a bereaved mother. She used the pain of her teenage daughter’s death caused by a drunk driver to create real change in the world.
Ted Wiard who lost his entire family in a car crash started the Golden Willow Retreat Center, a haven for the grieving.
Two amazing women who have suffered deep losses and I co-founded the International Grief Council We travel and teach, and create safe spaces for conversations around death and dying.
When you’re able to take the energy of pain and transform it into the energy of purpose, your pain has value. It serves the world–and serves you by opening the door for you to create your legacy.
Take Action Now:
1. Close your eyes and breathe deeply to get into the zone.
2. Reflect on the pain you have suffered through your loss, and ask: what have you taught me?
3. Consider how you’re different from who you used to be–and what matters to you NOW.
4. When you’ve had some answers, open your eyes and make some notes.
5. If you come up with nothing, just know that it’s not yet time. There’s more healing work to be done.
How are you making a change in the world? It could be as simple as helping an elderly neighbor, or being a voice in your local PTA. Share your comments below.