I grew up on a steady dose of Elvis Presley. One of my least favorite songs he sang was the mournful Blue Christmas.
Yes I love his take on music and his sultry, raw, unplugged version. But the WORDS! Dang, Dang, Dang!
I posted to Facebook yesterday how hard it is to miss loved ones during the holidays. My family has experienced many tragic and untimely losses and it CAME DOWN on me yesterday. It was glum, cloudy and cold here and bam, that thing jumped on the bandwagon.
Processing grief is key for me to stay motivated in weight loss and health. It is the one emotion that if I let it linger, it takes me down. The enemy of my soul knows this very well and since he is not creative at all, he goes back to it often. And, how do I respond when I am blue ——> well obviously, I eat poorly and a lot.
Right after I posted about it last night I ran into a beautiful blog that pulled me back where I needed to be. Have a read and then I’ll wrap this up with a beautiful bow.
15 Things I Wish I’d Known About Grief by Terry O’Brien http://identityrenewed.com
1. You will feel like the world has ended. I promise, it hasn’t. Life will go on, slowly. A new normal will come, slowly.
2. No matter how bad a day feels, it is only a day. When you go to sleep crying, you will wake up to a new day.
3. Grief comes in waves. You might be okay one hour, not okay the next. Okay one day, not okay the next day. Okay one month, not okay the next. Learn to go with the flow of what your heart and mind are feeling.
4. It’s okay to cry. Do it often. But it’s okay to laugh, too. Don’t feel guilty for feeling positive emotions even when dealing with loss.
5. Take care of yourself, even if you don’t feel like it. Eat healthily. Work out. Do the things you love. Remember that you are still living.
6. Don’t shut people out. Don’t cut yourself off from relationships. You will hurt yourself and others.
7. No one will respond perfectly to your grief. People–even people you love–will let you down. Friends you thought would be there won’t be there, and people you hardly know will reach out. Be prepared to give others grace. Be prepared to work through hurt and forgiveness at others’ reactions.
8. God will be there for you perfectly. He will never, ever let you down. He will let you scream, cry, and question. Throw all your emotions at Him. He is near to the brokenhearted.
9. Take time to truly remember the person you lost. Write about him or her, go back to all your memories with them, truly soak in all the good times you had with that person. It will help.
10. Facing the grief is better than running. Don’t hide from the pain. If you do, it will fester and grow and consume you.
11. You will ask “Why?” more times than you thought possible, but you may never get an answer. What helps is asking, “How? How can I live life more fully to honor my loved one? How can I love better, how can I embrace others, how can I change and grow because of this?”
12. You will try to escape grief by getting busy, busy, busy. You will think that if you don’t think about it, it’ll just go away. This isn’t really true. Take time to process and heal.
13. Liquor, sex, drugs, hobbies, work, relationships, etc., will not take the pain away. If you are using anything to try and numb the pain, it will make things worse in the long run. Seek help if you’re dealing with the sorrow in unhealthy ways.
14. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to need people. It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay.
15. Grief can be beautiful and deep and profound. Don’t be afraid of it. Walk alongside it. You may be surprised at what grief can teach you.
Jesus is always on time with a word, a scripture, someone who gets it. And today, the sun is shining, with clear blue skies and birds chirping on a crystal clear cold Atlanta day. But the grief got processed appropriately. Yes, I cried. I cried a deep guttural cry, but it was healing and it was cleansing and it was appropriate.
Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is not promised, but I have today to make good decisions and choose joy.
My mentor, Dr. Caroline Leaf says a few things of import…
You are free to make choices about how you focus your attention, & this affects how the chemicals, proteins & wiring of your brain function.
To change you first need to accept that something is wrong in your life, repent and then fix it…this is renewing of the mind (Rom. 12:2).
I am renewing my mind today with Christ. I am choosing healthy thoughts and healthy foods and a healthy workout. Thank you God, for new mercies.
Listen as Laura Hacket sings about Joy