Finding Interest in Life Again After Loss
It’s not an easy place to be.
Where do you find motivation and interest and ambition again when all you feel is weighed down by grief and anxiety and numbness?
I wish I could say I have all the answers. That I could say, “Here, take my 5 step How-To course and everything will be great again!”
Anyone who tells you that is full of shit.
I don’t have all the answers. No one does, because everyone’s answers are different.
That doesn’t mean that the answers aren’t out there and that you can’t find them. You can. You find them in yourself. And while I don’t have all the answers, I have a few suggestions for where to start. (I’ve done this starting anew thing a time or two myself!).
Let Grief Flow
Few of us actually take the amount of time we actually need to truly grieve and say good-bye to what was or could have been. Society puts a lot of pressure on those dealing with loss to move on, quickly and quietly, so that no one gets uncomfortable.
The reality is, particularly with the death of someone we love, grief can weave its way through our life forever. The initial intensity will fade and life will get easier to handle, but for some losses, that grief will never fully be complete. It will show up in expected and unexpected ways until the day we leave this earth.
So, it’s not about grieving and getting over that grief. It’s about learning to live with it. To accepting it’s presence as part of the process of living and walking with it through life.
Grief comes from loss, yes, but grief is a sign of living. It’s a sign of love. Grief is not the enemy. It is living love.
When we truly stop resisting grief’s flow in our lives, grief will stop sucking away every last bit of energy and light and interest in life.
In fact, sometimes, if we allow it to do it’s thing, grief can often help us find our way to whatever comes next.
Forget purpose, be curious
If you have any kind of spiritual bent at all, often you’ll hear talk of “finding your purpose” and “finding the meaning in your life or experience.”
Life has been turned upside down and perhaps what we thought WAS our purpose or meaning in life has suddenly been yanked out from under us. Suddenly, we’re supposed to find a new purpose or meaning? Talk about pressure.
Forget about purpose or meaning or any of that heavy shit.
Just be curious. Be curious about life. Be curious about what makes you feel even a little bit better (or simply less awful). Be curious about who you are becoming. Be curious about what life could be like now. Be curious about how you feel. Be curious about what peaks your interest, even the slightest nudge of interest.
Take the pressure off and follow the twisty path of curiosity. Where your curiosity is taking you might not make any sense – at least not for a while. That’s totally ok. It doesn’t have to.
I promise these random things you follow with curiosity will come together and make sense at some point! Then again, perhaps the randomness of it all will what is amazing about it 🙂
And who knows, following your curiosity might even lead to a new purpose or meaning.
Play with Experimenting
Along the same lines as curiosity, make life an experiment. I think too often we get so serious about life and everything then becomes almighty important and BIG.
Life really doesn’t have to be such a big, heavy, serious thing.
What if life was just an experiment?
Experiments have no right or wrong answers. There are no real mistakes. There is only exploration and new information and following the flow of what we find.
If you are experimenting, you don’t have to have the answers. You don’t have to know what’s going to happen. You don’t have to figure it all out.
You just try things. You play with what you are curious about. You see what happens and then decide what’s next from whatever happens.
No pressure. No end of the world feeling is something doesn’t work out quite the way we expected.
Just an experiment. And who knows what might happen. . .
Rinse and repeat until sticking
It seems really simple. Almost too simple.
Let Grief Flow.
Play with Experimenting.
And as the shampoo bottle says, rinse and repeat as needed.
Until something sticks. Until something calls to you and reignites that fire of life inside you. Until life feels interesting and motivating again. Until ambition pokes it’s head up and says “hey there” again.
Shouldn’t rebuilding our lives be, I don’t know, more than that? That’s the question that runs thought my mind sometimes.
But truly, not really.
This process has worked for me over and over. It might not give me, or you, all the answers.
But it might give us the ones we need.