How to be empowered after a tragedy and help others in the process
March 24, 2016 5:00 AM EST | 5 min read
Tragedy can manifest itself in a variety of ways.
Tragedies are as diverse as the people who experience them.
An example of a tragedy might be a:
- death of a loved one
- devastating medical diagnosis
As humans, our first reaction to tragic circumstances is often to question why.
Why is this happening?
Why me and my family?
It is easy to think that if we just had some answers, some understanding, tragedy would be easier to get through.
The problem with asking why is the answers do very little to relieve the pain tragedy inflicts
Grief is an emotional process, not a rational one, and with or without answers, you still have to find healing for your hurting heart.
In the wake of tragedy, it is more important to look inward than outward.
Identifying your feelings, discovering what they are telling you about your heart, and deciding how to respond to them is a beneficial and heart-honoring way to cope.
The reaction to your tragedy will empower you to recover from tragedy and help others or leave you feeling lost.
After the tragic deaths of my twin baby daughters a few weeks after they were born in 2008, I, too, had to learn a more heart-centered approach to healing.
Like most people, I did not inherently know how to recover from tragedy.
Now, as a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist and co-founder of Teamotions, an emotional well-being company dedicated to helping others heal their hearts using our hand-blended wellness teas and a three-step emotional awareness process I created called the Teamotions Method, I teach these valuable recovery skills and empower others to reclaim their hearts.
Every person and tragedy is unique
However, core recovery concepts apply to everyone and guide every healing journey.
And although every healing journey is personal, it doesn’t mean it has to be walked alone.
Every healing journey is like a backpacking trip.
The right equipment and proper companions transform a difficult, lonely path into a hopeful, healing journey.
When tragedy strikes, it is common to feel overwhelmed with emotions.
The best thing you can do is give yourself permission to feel your feelings—all of them—without judging them.
Don’t worry; feeling your feelings won’t allow them to control you.
Feelings only have the power you give them.
They are neither right nor wrong, good nor bad.
Each feeling is a clue into what is going on in your heart.
Let them come and go, paying attention to what they are telling you about yourself but not reacting to them.
Encourage others to do the same.
You can set a powerful healing example for others by allowing yourself to feel freedom and authenticity.
As you allow yourself to feel your feelings, be curious about why you feel the way you feel.
Knowing what is going on in your heart under the layers of feelings will help you know what to do next.
This connection to why you feel the way you feel will enable you to take proper action steps for your heart and cultivate lasting healing.
Choose a beneficial and heart-honoring response
Choosing a response instead of reacting to your emotions allows you to take your power back and not be subject to circumstances, society, or others for healing.
Empower yourself by recognizing that although your circumstances are not always in your control, how you respond to them means healing is always within your power.
No matter how strong you are, tragedy will test that strength.
These limits are not weaknesses but part of being human.
The sooner you accept these limitations, the sooner you can learn self-compassion.
Be kind to yourself.
You deserve it.
Allow tragedy to change the way you look at yourself and others.
Developing self-compassion will help you grow in compassion for others as well.
You can use your personal experience with pain and loss and the healing you’ve experienced to inspire others.
No one can stop bad things from happening, but you can be a powerful support system and a beacon of hope for other hurting hearts.
To get through tragedy, you’ll have to dig deep.
There is no manual for life’s most difficult times, and your heart won’t heal by accident.
But just like me, you’ll find healing and grow in compassion for others if you refuse to give up and learn how to feel your feelings, discover what they are telling you about your heart, and choose heart-honoring responses to your feelings instead of reactions.
A cup of Teamotions Tea won’t hurt, either.
Let us know your thoughts on coping with a tragedy in the comment section below.
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You never know who needs a little help out there.
August 14, 2020 at 10:29 AM
This is very encouraging, however what is the process to be able to feel my feelings. In March 2020 we lost our house to tornado, my mom passed away and the China virus hit and shut down everything.
Since then we have no motivation to do anything.