Have you ever talked to a girlfriend or gotten off social media only to question what in the world you’re doing with your life?
*Insert raising hand emoji here.*
Me. I have done the above.
There are things in my life that didn’t go according to plan. I´m talking about the ¨should have, could have, would have¨ things.
- I should have lost that baby weight by now
- My kid should be potty trained
- I wish I would have traveled more
But even deeper, and very specifically, I should have a daughter starting kindergarten this fall, but I don’t. At 16 months, my daughter, my first born, unexpectedly passed away. With each season of life comes a different kind of grief. As a teacher, the sight of school supplies in the WalMart asiles in July makes me cringe, but this year, for different reasons. I won’t be picking out the perfect first day outfit or standing at a classroom door as tears roll down my face. With any grief, it comes in waves. Right now, what helps me find happiness within my grief, is not dewelling on what isn’t and being still in what is. I have many blessings in my life that keep me going daily.
If you’ve ever read a motivational book or listened to an inspirational podcast, you might be familiar with the phrase, Girl, wash your face.
How I wash my face:
- Cry (occasionally): There are times when I just have a good cry. You know the one. The one where you can’t really say why you’re crying but it feels good when you’re done. The most important part is that I only allow myself a short time to ¨get it all out¨ and then I’m done. I think there can be a healthy amount of crying, not the all-consuming, can’t breathe, ugly cry.
- Surround myself with things that make me happy. In those moments of sadness/grief I do the things that make me happy and talk to people who will lifts my spirits.
- Take time for myself. I’m not talking about going to the grocery store alone. This is authentic me time: take a nap, read a book, go for a run, get your nails done. Whatever that looks like for you, Do you, boo!
- Don’t spend too much time on social media. Facebook and Instagram have ways of making everyone seem perfect and happy. We only post our best, filtered pictures and only share our latest good news. My advice: like their pictures and move on. You´re not them, so stop comparing yourself to them!
- Forgive yourself. I’ll say that again for the people in the back Forgive. Yourself. Momma! There are many things in my life in which I probably could have done differently, but the truth is, it doesn’t matter. I cannot change them now. I’ll stop being so hard on myself and allow myself some grace.
- Put on my Big Girl Panties. I’ll also stop feeling sorry for myself, I won’t wallow in my grief and get in a place where I’m ¨stuck.” Live. Learn. Move on.
- Embrace the life I have. I am grateful, thankful, and so proud of this life I have.
These are the ways I work through the grief. When you are struggling each day, how do you move through the grief?