Three Steps to Turning Heartache into Hope
Currently many children across this nation are grieving. And many adults have no clue, and much less do not care. In fact, many of those same adults are in deep grief and are not willing to let themselves grieve during this time much less someone else in their sphere. It’s not because adults are cold and unfeeling. It’s simply they do not understand how to process feelings and emotions. Not to mention the fact that most folks categorize different types of trauma and grief, deeming one thing to be true trauma and another to be just a little hard, sad or perhaps, not even at all worthy of feeling bad over. The truth is, no one has the privilege to qualify trauma or grief. No one has the right to say whether or not something is difficult for you or not. Your body and mind decide this, not you. What you choose to do with the feelings/emotions/grief is entirely up to you. But first, you must have an awareness in order to come out on the other side mentally and physically intact. I know from where I speak. You see, I was that person who judged (wrongly) someone else’s feelings, whether or not they were “allowed” to feel the way they did. I was a complete ass, if I’m honest. During the time my son had cancer and when I was traipsing down to the NICU to feed and hold my daughter for 30 days, people and their petty nonsense enraged me. I would cut someone’s hair after having spent the morning at Children’s hospital, listening to this woman bemoan the fact that she simply couldn’t find proper drapes. Or another who was so stressed out because she had to pay $2,000 per son in order for them to play football. At the time I was on full Judge Judy mode, criticizing the fact that drapes were so insignificant on the grand scheme of life and football? Lord have mercy! No one is putting a gun to your head and “making” you pay anything. But… their feelings… were real. The pain and anguish they experienced, also real. As real as my heart hurt leaving my baby girl each day, these people felt some sort of hurt and distress. They didn’t need someone to give some mindset platitude and tell them to not sweat the small stuff. They needed someone to simply listen, and thank God with them that their challenges will work themselves through. They needed someone to give them tools on how to release the stress and feel at peace and calm IN their present circumstance they find themselves in. Unfortunately I was not that person at that time. However, I am now. My hope is to give you some guidance on how to move through any time of grief, for you and a child you might have the privilege of sharing space with. First of all, you must acknowledge that the situation you find yourself in is hard, or for the person you are dealing with, their situation they find themselves in. Understand the mind and body feel the feelings, whether you stuff them or dismiss them. Take for example scary news. In an instant, your physical body will create a physical response to what you just heard. It has to this is how it was designed. The flight or fight response right? Releasing adrenaline and cortisol whether you are in actual danger or not. If the mind perceives danger or stress or fear, it will respond the way it was designed. In that moment, you can choose to consciously acknowledge it, and respond in a way that will A., make you feel physically safe, and B., mentally safe. If that is the case, anyway. Take our currently state of the union. Millions of adults now being forced to home school their children- the horror right? Old Jen would have criticized parents for feeling angry and fearful about the notion of teaching these children. But this Jen, understands every bit of that fear, every bit of the anger. It would be like the state telling me I had no choice but to send my child to school. There is fear there, and yet, the fears are not legitimate once we educate ourselves. Knowledge truly is power. Millions of those children are now grieving the loss of friend time, favorite teacher interaction, or worse, a solid way to get a meal… These too are legitimate causes for distress, if the child is not assured everything is different, yes, but we can make it even better than before. Second, once you all have seen the grief for what it is, now is the time to decide what to do with it. Here’s a hint~ don’t say “it’s no big deal”. That is stuffing it. You know, my grandma use to say, “feel the way you feel. Get down in the feelings, give it a good wallow! But then pick yourself up by your boot straps and dust yourself off and get back after it!” Grandma was pretty smart. She was in the top of her field as a clinical psychologist, so I’d say she had an idea or two about the human mind. Get down in it, wallow around in it. Translation, let yourself feel every bit of feels you need to. But not for too long, don’t wallow like a pig in the mud, don’t dwell on it too long, other wise you’ll get stuck there. Get up. Dust yourself off. For those of us who know that essential oils are truly the ay to “dust” of the mental distress, dust yourself off by applying your Valor and then layer with Joy. Valor essential oil is an oil that brings courage. Courage to face a new day, a day full of uncertainty, with confidence and strength. Apply 6 drops Valor on each shoulder and just sit. Let the Valor sink in. Valor will bring your mind, body and soul into balance, giving you or your child the ability to move through this time in a much healthier manner. Joy essential oils is a powerful blend that when inhaled, it brings back memories of being loved, being held, sharing loving times, feeling and opening those blocks in our lives where perhaps we have shut down to love or receiving love or love of self. When stress and trauma are present, using the aroma of Joy can lift your spirits allowing you to think of love, and when we are in a loving frame of mind, we can create loving things to do. In addition, when there is grief, the adenoids and the adrenal glands shut down; Joy may help to open these glands. One of the biggest challenges physically with not acknowledging emotions is the breakdown of the body. Your body will tell you when it has had enough of your stuffing nonsense. Third, visualize a future filled with joy and hope and happiness. I’m serious, visualize the way you want to see your next 3-6 months. Help your child use their imagination. For younger ones, this won’t be any sort of challenge at all. In dealing with our current situation, talk with one another about plans you are creating for 3 months from now. Come up with creative ideas to have a prom or graduation if those things are being missed out on. Once you have removed the grief, thinking in a positive light will be much simpler. If you or a child is dealing with grief of any other kind, not related to quarantines and outbreaks, visualize a future too. One that looks like you want to see it. If there is loss of a loved one, visualize yourself thriving in your space, making a new life for yourself. When you have a mental setback, acknowledge, breathe, use your oils, and then, get up. Face another day. The oils will help you do just that, I promise. No matter the grief you find yourself in, do not qualify it. It’s what you feel. Feelings neither right or wrong, they simply are. Acknowledge them, allow them to surface, “dust” yourself off, and get back up.