Learning to Love after Loss
From the death of a spouse or partner to the end of a significant relationship and even the loss of a beloved family pet, loss takes a toll on our hearts and minds, emotions and energy levels. If you have recently experienced a major loss, the following steps can help you learn to love again: –Give yourself time to grieve. Cry, talk or write about it – you need to express your anguish, fears and frustration and take time to heal. If you don’t give yourself this space, these emotions will continue to plague you and your relationships. –Take stock. What defense mechanisms do you have in place? What issues from your childhood do you need to confront? What will prevent you from going forward and being happy again? This inventory, whether done alone, with a friend or a trained therapist, can help you ensure you’ve dealt with your heavy baggage and will give you the empowerment you need to eventually move on. –Forgive. Learning to forgive and let go can help you lose the weight of the world that is clinging to your shoulders and your heart.
–Love and take exquisite care of yourself. Make a list of things you can do to make yourself feel better – such as spending more time with friends, a spa day, working less or exercising more. And then put this list to use. –Spend time with the right people. You might need encouragement or a quiet friend. You might need someone who is full of creative ideas or someone who knows just what movie you want to watch and what takeout you want to eat. Find the people who fill you up rather than empty you out. –Smart small. Be patient. Take little steps day by day. Rather than jumping feet first into another major relationship, have a cup of coffee. Try a new activity. And take it slow in your next significant relationship. You might have to regularly remind yourself that loving again is worth the challenge and worth the risk. Love yourself and give yourself the time, compassion and courage to love again.