Just the other day I was talking to one of my mentors.
I was sad about a relationship that hadn’t gone the way I expected it to go and feeling the pain of the loss.
Disappointed I said, “I just wish it had lasted longer.”
She looked at me… and in her most loving motherly tone said, “Welcome to reality… don’t we all wish for that.”
And isn’t that the truth?
Of course I want wonderful moments to last forever but that is not how life works.
Life is endless change and we all suffer losses great and small…
A lost marriage.
A lost loved one.
A lost friendship.
The pain that I suffer during each significant moment is first grief and then… pain due to my refusal to accept the reality of the situation, admit the loss, and let go.
I cling to what is familiar… I cling to the memories of what once was.
But today, I know that I have to work to accept change and look forward to what life will bring me.
I have many more moments of unexpected joy on the horizon if I accept today, things as they are, grieve my losses, and look forward to my future.
“Dear God, thank you for bringing joy into my life and help me to accept change. Help me to trust in your path and know that I will find joy again.”
Thank you again for your words that seem to be just what I need to hear and think about. I am again in a spot of having a hard time of accepting this loss. My 15 year old daughter is struggling in her life right now and is not willing to open up to accept any “help”. I feel helpless and alone and all my attempts to “help” are not what she wants or can accept at this time. It scares me. I went through very rough times with my son 4 years ago and I feel that same fear and helplessness now with her. The difference is I had my husband there (not my childrens father) to guide me, hold me, support me, pick me up and reassure me that I was doing everything I could and that it would all be okay. The last few days with my daughter I have felt so helpless and the loss of not having my “husband” there has knocked me off my foundation I was building back up…it has me in a panic that I “can’t do this alone”, it has me back not wanting to accept that he is no longer that part of my life. As you said, I cling to what is familiar and the memories of what once was…and it brings the pain and loss back so intensely. I know I can do this. I know I will do whatever it takes to help my daughter navigate through her own loss, pain, fear, and struggles as she grows, I know I will never give up. I know that is who I am and I would accept no less from myself. I just “wish it had lasted longer”…but I know that it didn’t and I must move on and let go so the future can come without the past clouding it. Thanks for being there. Tanya
That can be really difficult… I have spent the last twenty years working with students your daughter’s age and they are very passionate about their feelings, beliefs, choices… After my husband and I broke up I realized two things: How often I had already been managing our two children on my own and hadn’t realized it and… that I had a group of good men and women willing to be mentors to my children. I hope that you have some people that you can trust and lean on. I was very fortunate that I had several good men step up as friends to be there for my son and support him and the same with my daughter.
You don’t have to do it alone…. find your people… and ask for help.
Your daughter is lucky to have a parent that is concerned… and cares for her well-being… I’m sure she is hurting… just as you are hurting…. please know I understand… I do… and I’m here. 🙂 D.
Accepting loss has been so difficult — I’ve had to accept the loss of a marriage , the friendship that went with it , and also the waning of my own feelings for my ex.
I didn’t really understand at first why I was experiencing so many mixed emotions- but it was grieving the loss of our partnership and my own changing feelings.
Then I look at loss of my boss / mentor of so many years , and my father. People who meant so much that stay with you in tour thoughts constantly. But you miss them terribly.
You are so right that life has these twists and turns. And it is endless change!
I do not think to avoid pain it is as easy as just accepting the loss and “letting it go”. That is like saying that there would be no pain if you were stabbed. Of course there ioss pain after a loss of something special. However, I do think that you have to look at working at healing whatever is causing the pain (ie stitching up the cut) rather than simply mopping up the bleeding or worse still putting your effort into trying to destroy the knife.
In other words even though the pain may be caused by divorce there is no point in trying to make the other person suffer (destroying the knife) or distracting yourself from the anger and sadness (mopping up the bleeding). You have to focus on healing yourself by building up foundations of comfort and then, once healed, repair by gradually branching back out into the world.
I don’t think accepting loss is ever easy…. but when I don’t? Boy, do I have pain as I continue to look at the “stab wound” and dig in it and dig in it and dig in it…. refusing to stitch it up! When I finally let go and accept my injury and make the effort to “stitch it up” I can, as you said… branch back out into the real world… maybe now sporting a “scar” but ready to try again… 🙂 D.