Tragedy can manifest itself in a variety of ways. From divorce, the loss of a loved one, or a devastating diagnosis, tragedies are as diverse as the people who experience them.
As humans, our first reaction to tragic circumstances is often to question why. Why is this happening?Why me? Why 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 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 your feelings in a beneficial and heart-honoring way instead of reacting to them will empower you to recover from tragedy and help others in the process.
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.Just 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.
Although every griever and tragedy is unique, there are core recovery concepts that apply to everyone and guide every healing journey.
And although every healing journey is also 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. Allow them to 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 with freedom and authenticity.
As you allow yourself to feel your feelings, be curious as to why you feel the way you feel.
Knowing what is really 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.
Once you connect to the why of your feelings you can 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 recognize that although your circumstances are not always in your control, how you respond to them is, and that 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 choose to 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 beacon of hope for other hearting hearts.
In order 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.