Tough Losses and Emotional Safety Nets

I have had conversations with many people lately who are going through rough patches with their health while caring for someone else and feeling great uncertainty in the world as a whole.

Ice Flower Under Soap Bubble

There is no question that Covid has flipped us around into a new world. The emotional effects are looming underneath like an earthquake tremor here in California, and it erupts without notice. When you add additional emotional trauma, an energetic bomb is waiting to go off.

As I have had those conversations, I ask the people I have spoken to what they are doing to find peace within their life and themselves. Some have shut down the outer world, while others are yearning for connections. Some are so angry at the world that I can feel the vibration from afar.

One woman I’ve known for years lost a younger family member earlier this year. It was devastating. She told me that she saw a grief counselor, which she found to be really helpful. She learned that she should not feel ashamed as she returned to her routines in life and began doing things that were once fun for her. She also began to understand that she had a ‘hall pass’ for when she took people’s heads off from time to time and that grief is a process. It takes time and will never go away, but it will shift over time. Yet after one helpful visit, she declined to return.

All of these people I spoke to are the dearest human beings. They do good in the world, they are admired by many, and, under cover, they are ripped into shreds. Is it guilt? Shame? Anger? Regardless, walking solo through the hard times ends up emotionally isolating you.

We are at the end of 2022, amid holidays, which can be challenging — remembering our loved ones, tears of grief, and holes in our hearts. As you prepare your shopping and to-do lists, I ask you to add one more thing: remember yourself.

This time of year, I used to go into 5th gear go-mode, even after some tough losses that hit especially hard during the holidays. Now I plan far in advance to avoid the rush, make sure I can pause a bit in business when I’m able, and take days off to just be off. I have no schedule, but I do what feels good that day – taking a walk, calling a friend, watching movies—something to pull myself away from the daily treadmill of life and reset my energy.

We’ve all been through an emotional wringer over the past years. Please honor yourself as you would ask a dear one in your life to do, and don’t forget to B-R-E-A-T-H-E.



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