GETTING THROUGH LOSS AND REJECTION
Everyone, including me, has suffered the loss of a relationship, a death of someone we loved, a friendship, a job and our dreams. The pain of this loss can last from weeks to what seems like forever. How do we get through this? So often, it seems that we don’t and even feel we can’t. But, we can and we can thrive.
When we feel rejected, especially by someone who we thought would never reject us, like a child, a spouse, a parent, it’s such a crushing feeling. It can bring sadness and in some cases, it can become debilitating. In one case, I know of a women, who deeply loved her child, ended up in a legal battle with him due to unforeseen circumstances. She won the case, but lost her adult son. He has not spoken to her in years. And, though they were very close for most of his life, this ended whatever they might have had. She became despondent. Ended up with serious illnesses, including cancer and deep depression. Formerly, a healthy person, this blow was too much for her system.
She survived. She finally accepted this painful situation and realized if her emotions continued to get the best of her, she was going to die. After a great deal of inner work, she accepted what was and sent love and joy to her son…wanting only the best for him. Today, she is doing very well and working everyday. Yes, she misses him. But, her being in pain did not help anyone. She embraced acceptance and compassion for her self and her son.
This is not uncommon. We literally can make ourselves sick when we go through a loss. Part of us believes that if we are sick, the other might come to visit. We feel we don’t deserve to be happy or healthy if the other rejected us. If the other has died, do we deserve to live. The connection to the other is so strong, we don’t even know who we are without them.
A reasonable period of time to grieve our loss is appropriate and healthy. That period varies depending on the person and the situation. And, there are some techniques to help you get through.
Of course, talking with someone and not being alone with this pain is so important. For some, there are groups, which can be very valuable. (Please look up an appropriate group for your needs on the internet or ask a friend or your therapist or doctor).
Make sure to take care of yourself. We all hear the phrase ‘self-care’ but don’t necessarily know what that means. Briefly, it means sleeping well, eating right (minimize alcohol and sugars), exercising -walking always works well and it helps to be out in nature. Being alone for long is not healthy. If you only have one or two good friends, that is fine, spend time with them. Involvement in a community contributes to health and happiness. If you have a religious community, utilize them. If you have a hobby or a way to help others, do it, that improves mood and functioning as well.
If you meditate, which I highly recommend, there is a Buddhist method called Tonglen. As you sit quietly and focus on your breath, you breathe in the pain (yes, breathe in the pain) and on the outbreath, you send peace, love, joy…whatever is appropriate to the other or to yourself. In fact, you can do this many times and everytime can be for yourself, the other, or to all those who have suffered the loss you have. And, if it brings you tears, that is wonderful too.
There are other methods to help you get through which include grief therapy, emotional freedom technique (also known as Tapping), and above all acceptance. Refusal to accept the situation as it is, only brings more pain and is like King Sisyphus of Greek mythology. His punishment for his hubris was having to roll a boulder uphill to the top of a mountain only to have it roll down every time it reached the top. He was condemned to a lifetime of suffering.
Loss is part of life. No one escapes this life without suffering some loss or rejection at some time. As a human being you have a right to be happy, healthy and live a full life. Should you be in the throws of loss and find yourself in pain, take a moment, accept the situation, send compassion and love to yourself and even to the other, and do something nice for yourself. Continue to practice this everyday and you will wake up one morning and realize it is not the first thought that comes into your mind nor distract you from living a good and happy life.
Do not hesitate to seek counseling if you need assistance in getting through this time.