We have no idea what we need to do or what to even think. What used to be a simple task might now be a difficult decision. Emotions run wild and you never know when you are going to burst into tears so you don’t even want to shop in a familiar place. If you have experienced tragedy you know the feeling, you get it, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
Things might be dark right now, but I want to encourage you that things can get better. You will be able to navigate your way through the pain and endure, but it’s going to be difficult and take time. Probably more time than you think. But you will get through this; you have to get through this. Some people will tell you that you need to get over it, but the truth is that you never get over it; you get through it and gradually start to live again.
Having a plan is one of the best things a person can do to begin working through tragedy and start healing. When we have a plan, it gives us a direction to go and this helps us feel like we are taking steps in the right direction. This is the plan that I have used to work through some of the tragedy in my own life. I have also used this plan to help others. My prayer is that it will help you.
- Commit to healing. When you commit to healing, you are empowering yourself to move forward. This is not forgetting or minimizing what happened, it’s simply giving yourself permission to start moving again. It’s a powerful decision that will help you to start looking ahead.
- Connect with God on a deeper level. Be honest and open with God. Pray, read the bible, attend church, bring all your hurts and worries to God. If you can’t say them, write them down and read it to God. Don’t try to do this on your own. Lean into your faith or start to if you have never given God much priority in your life in the past.
- Open up to a friend, paid counselor, or both. Connect with a person that allows you to share what you experienced without judging or offering a quick fix. They need to listen well and validate the importance of what happened to you. They need to understand what you went through and how it affected you. Share the role that the tragedy has played in your life so they can affirm your thoughts and feelings.
- Take personal responsibility for your life. Tragedy causes us to lose control of our life. That sense of loss impacts everything. Claim your life back by taking responsibility for your healing. Others may try to tell you what to do, but you need to work through what you feel is best for you to do. There might be a brief time when others need to help you make decisions, but eventually you need to reclaim your life and get control of it.
- Do something that you really enjoy. It is important to do something for yourself. Go see a movie or visit a friend. Do whatever fills you up and satisfies you. It will not feel like it used to or be the same, but it will help you to feel like a part of society again.
- Keep a routine. Keep a routine because routines help us to feel normal. Wear clothes and jewelry that make you feel good about you. Exercise, eat right, practice good hygiene. Take care of yourself. Make it a point to get a couple of little things done every day. All of these will help you to feel like you again.
- Be engaged in the present. It’s easy to get stuck in the past or worry about the future. Be conscious of what is happening in your life and around you right now. Play with the kids or your pet. This will help calm you as well as helping you stay focused and hopeful. Admire the outdoors and soak in the sun. When you are able to engage in the present you will be able to see beauty again.