The 9 grief stages
What is grief and how to use it as a therapeutic tool
Weather is the end of a relationship, the end of a stage in life, the loss of loved one, the death of an animal, the death of a belief system or a habit the way to go through any change is to admit is a grief. And mechanically go through all the 9 grief stages in a healthy and allowing way.
As a disclaimer I would like to say that is a tool, just a simple tool that for initiation is incredible to track yourself down as where you are at and not being lost in emotions. To understand them, follow them, embrace them letting them unfold freely and yet organized all the 9 grief stages for every issues separately.
This is a tool to play with and have fun. Use it on your own with everything, with a type of food you know you want to give up on, with person you know is harming you or even small aspects of you day like your coffee routine or what not. Play with it for some time, discover how you mentally manage this new organization of thoughts. And your mind will be trained to do that with every little loss you will feel. It will stop being mechanical and you will enter a flow of mental and emotional environment that actually works for you.
If you prefer video click here, if not keep reading.
I don’t like to give very specific guidelines because if you take this mechanically as a pill in the morning for the rest of your life it just become another type of dogma and I not feel dogma can serve us humans anymore.
To understand the importance of the flow through all the stages I explain the outburst of one particular emotion, of an exaggeration of it. That means that we are stuck in that particular stage of a grieving period, unable to go through all the 9 grief stages.
Being stuck in denial is really rejecting the emotions we have about a person or event. This is indeed a stage where many people are in several aspects of their lives. Is the place many refer to as the Matrix where you only see your reality and not the bigger picture. This is the resistance to change many people have. This is also the refusal to see, accept the negative aspect of life and about ourselves.
This stage is where we learn to manage usually in childhood. Is when we negotiate with our parents what we can give to receive what we want. Many times, the terms are not fair especially in a dysfunctional homes where it can be particularly harmful when children learn to give up so much of themselves in order to get very little and unfulfilling emotional need.
Other people are stuck in the stage of sadness and are very sad people for many years. Or they go through periods of deep sadness which we call depression and eventually learn the hard way to move passed that stage.
Many people are stuck in the rage stage for days up to many years if it’s not dealt properly. They make this emotion the predominant force of their life being described by other as very angry people. We take that identity and hold on to it very hard because we really have no tool to move past it. Nobody teaches how to go through grief in school, universities, society or at home. How to experience loss and how to move past that, having learn a new lesson.
Other people get stuck in the stage of the explanation when they can’t wrap their heads around an idea or an event, in the “I don’t understand” mindset. “I don’t understand how my mother never spend time with me, how my dad is an alcoholic, how my boyfriend cheated on me, how my boss fired me when I do my job so well”.
Being stuck in this stage is when we do understand why and how this happen and yet we can’t really be ok with it. It has the emotion of unfairness on top of it. You will detect the people stuck in this stage easily because they are the advocate for fairness in most aspects of their lives. Activists are probably one of the large groups that manifest this stage.
This is a stage where we manifest forgiveness and this stage is where most religions are stuck even though that forgiveness is more a mechanical behavioral rather that a genuine forgiveness. In this grieving process this stage goes both ways. We must find forgiveness for the other person or for the world if that was an event and also the forgiveness for ourselves. This stage is difficult because of the guilt that lies on top of the ability of self-forgiveness.
This stage would be the culmination of the process and we would thing this is the final stage. Is very healing indeed but all griefs have purpose and if we get stuck in this stage after, felling everything, understanding, forgiving and accepting we are left almost with half lesson learn because it’s missing purpose.
In this stage we find the purpose, the why we had to live this event or this loss and how will I be able to apply it in my future relationships and decisions. I reinvest myself in a new version of me that has one more grief process passed with success. It is the final stage and yet we can also be stuck here since we can obsess to much in not making the same mistakes, or taking the same roads, or not being ok with failing at what we already grieved about. The predominant emotion that can get us stuck in is perfectionism. After going through the 9 grief stages, we must allow ourselves to make mistakes again because never two mistakes have the same teaching.
Follow these grief stages and let me know how it works for you in the comments. And if you need help book a session with me here.
Be bright, be bold, be beautifulAdriana Diaconu