Updated: Nov 15
Paralyzed inside your own mind, these four emotions run rampant if left unacknowledged, unchecked and unaddressed. Grudges, guilt and fear are subordinate to the main umbrella of grief, addressing these emotions will help walk you through this tough season of life. It's often easy to pretend that all is well, putting on the facade that your world is moving along quite nicely. Posting the beautiful social media pictures with the perfect captions until one day that nagging feeling in your gut can no longer be ignored and you wonder why you just aren't as happy as once thought you should be. Where has your joy gone? Why do the tears keep trickling down your cheek with no provocation? Lets take a closer look at each of these emotions and different ways to help you work through them.
Grudge Definition: a persistent feeling of ill will or resentment resulting from a past insult or injury OR being resentfully unwilling to give, grant or allow something.
Holding on to grudges is like having a slow drip IV of poison connected to you at all times. It sounds a little dramatic being put into those terms but the impact is most certainly the same. Harboring grudges inhibits your ability to be truly happy and hold joy in your heart. There is always something at the back of the mind that says "remember to show your anger, frustrations, you have a point to prove" If you are angry you can't be happy. They are like oil and water, they just don't mix.
INSTEAD TRY.... Forgiveness. It sounds counter intuitive to offer this instead HOWEVER, May I ask how those grudges have been serving you lately? Forgiveness does not condone another persons behavior, it merely sets YOU free from the chains that keep you connected to that person or event. To forgive is to cease to feel resentment towards your offender. To condone is to treat as if trivial or of no importance. DON'T CONFUSE THE TWO. Often times the offender doesn't even realize you harbor a grudge, you are only hurting you. Forgiveness is a self care action taken by you to set you free. Drop the weight of resentment and take the action of forgiveness. You will never feel like you forgive unless you actually give it out (and you may have to over and over) and eventually that weight will lift off your shoulders.
Guilt Definition: 1) the fact of having committed a breach of conduct especially violating law and involving penalty 2) the state of someone who has committed an offense especially conscientiously. 3) feelings of deserving blame for offenses.
Guilt after loss can creep in like stealthy ninja. You don't even realize you're under attack until its too late. When guilt is present, the feeling that you should have been able to do something or change something to make it different, better or more is looming in the mind. Let's remember that when you are truly guilty of something there was an offense. Either intent to harm was present or it was an accident. If there was an intent to harm, it's usually not accompanied by guilt as it was premeditated and thought out. When an accident occurs the circumstance were unforeseen and unplanned and guilt is too heavy of a word for this scenario, regret may be a more accurate word that doesn't carry as much weight.
INSTEAD TRY..... Making an apology. If you feel like you have hurt someone. If you are holding guilt in your heart... apologize. Clean up your side of the street. Don't ask for forgiveness, it's not always given and you can't control the actions of others. If they choose the path of grudges, pray they learn of the power in forgiveness and freedom that forgiveness can carry. What you can do and the only person you are in control of is yourself, so give the apology and know you have done everything in your power to remedy the situation. Only you are in control of you so only you can clean up your side of the street.
Fear Definition: 1) an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger. 2) anxious concern - SOLICITUDE. 3) profound reverence and awe especially toward God.
4) reason for alarm- DANGER
Just reading this word makes the stomach jump, the heart race, and the mind wonder what danger is lurking. After a traumatic loss, a non traumatic loss or a deep hurt, fear can become the emotion that all choices are based on. The problem with making fear based choices is that it limits potential and keep one stagnant or stuck. Stuck reliving that trauma or hurt over and over, stuck in the past while the world passes by. To overcome fear, you must face it.
INSTEAD TRY.... Living present moment. What the heck does that even mean?! Instead of trying to change yesterday over and over in your mind, open your eyes to what is before you today. Instead of fearing what the future looks like now that things are different, look up and look around. Put down the cell phone and see all the important people in your life and tell them you love them. Get off social media and go visit your best friend in person. Put down the mind numbing alcohol and take a friendcation. Cancel your TV subscriptions and read some self development books, learn to be the best version of you. Start marking off events on your bucket list. Put a purpose to your pain and make a change in the world... Live your life to the fullest today so that you have no regrets when you enter into tomorrow.
Grief Definition: 1) deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement 2) a cause of suffering. 3) Trouble annoyance. 4) annoyance or playful criticism.
It's is a normal reaction to loss and to change. It's not a mental disorder or something that can be ignored. It can come in waves that ebb and flow yet it can also come on with the power of a hurricane. Our society has been trained to hide pain, pretend you're okay and cowboy up. This is an old unhelpful way of grieving. We can't hide from grief, it will show up either in our actions, in our ability to function day to day or in our health. Regardless of how it comes, grief cannot be ignored.
INSTEAD TRY.... Attending a support group. find a counselor that you feel comfortable confiding in. Have a monthly meeting with a small group of friends where you check in with one another to see how you can best serve each other. Reach out to your church. Set up a discovery session with Aspen's Angels to see if the grief recovery program would be a good fit for you. Take a look at your life events and apply forgiveness or apologies. However you choose to process, make sure it fits with your core values and you feel comfortable in that environment. Your future self deserves a chance a joy again. Your future self can hold both grief and happiness in your heart. Your future depends on what you do in this moment, but please, do something to help you through this part of your journey in life. The worst thing you can do is nothing..... and that's still a choice.
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(All definitions from Merriam-Webster.com)