The current crisis has shown us how much we live our lives by assumptions.
In the past, we would wake up in the morning and assume that life would be much as it was the day before.
We have assumed our good health, our daily interactions with loved ones, co-workers, friends and the business-as-usual routine in our job and community.
Our world of assumptions has been shattered and we are experiencing the death of everything we have known to be true.
In a moment, everything has changed.
All sorts of emotions have been experienced: numbness, disbelief, denial, outrage, confusion, emptiness, depression, guilt, fear, abandonment and isolation.
These emotions have been displayed through behaviours such as panic-buying and hoarding, physical altercations in supermarkets, the deliberate disregard for physical isolation guidelines and the running around trying to keep a business together.
We have all been affected in some way.
We are seeing loss of employment, loss of business, loss of dreams, loss of physical connection, loss of loved ones, loss of security and certainty.
Who do we become in the midst of our own uncertainty?
Do we withdraw and disconnect hoping it will all go away?
As a business leader or owner there is a very real risk that there will be nothing left when we finally do decide to emerge from the covers.
When we choose to accept that we don’t have to have all the answers that is when we can take action.
We are all experiencing loss at some level and are grieving that.
Having got over the initial shock, many will now start to feel anger and frustration as the reality of the situation sets in.
This is a natural part of the grief reaction and is partly as a result of feeling out of control.
We can choose to stay in that state and become disconnected from the very essence of who we are or we can tune into our thoughts and feelings.
Disciplines and practices can be implemented that will replace those thoughts and feelings with ones that will motivate us, give us hope and purpose.
Instead of asking “why did it happen?” we can ask “what do I do now?”, choosing to grow through the pain of our loss.
Grief is a natural, healthy, self-corrective process.
It is an ongoing, continuous, highly fluid process where we can separate from someone or something that we have lost.
Grief comes in waves and there will be different emotions felt as we move through the process.
Each of us respond differently to grief.
It varies according to our temperament, background, emotional and physical health, age, faith and past losses.
It is possible for a current loss to trigger unresolved losses from the past.
Intense grief may produce physical symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, dizziness, irritability and restlessness, insomnia and inability to organise daily activities.
There may be feelings of self-blame, a preoccupation with the image of what has been lost – job, business or loved one, a sense of guilt arising from feelings of not having done enough to prevent the outcome.
No matter the emotion, it is healthier to express it than try and repress it.
Repression is the means by which intolerable memories are kept out of the consciousness.
The risk is that this will manifest physically as disease.
Expressing the emotion through crying is healthy – tears are a way of cleansing inner wounds.
As we grieve, we will review memories of what has been lost and only gradually confront each one with the realisation that it no longer corresponds to something real.
We need to face the pain so that it can heal.
As we move through this process, we will break the emotional ties with what has been lost and gradually reinvest attachment and emotional energy to a new reality.
Taking the time to reflect, put our priorities in their proper perspective and clarify our values, influences the way in which we move forward.
Giving ourselves space allows an occasion for growth, to connect with our higher self and chart a new course to even greater possibility than we ever dreamed possible.
Integrating new disciplines and practices into our daily routine supports that growth and invites greater creativity into our thoughts.
Then, when we pause to reflect, we can look back with gratitude, that what seemed to be a disaster has now become perfect and unique.
If you would like someone to share your grief journey and help you find new perspective, please click on the link below and we can have a chat