Grief And Growth

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Grief means you have lost something or someone dear to you. You desperately want that something or someone back although you know it’s impossible, so you desperately want what you see as the next best thing, which is to be rid of your painful thoughts and feelings around your loss.

Approaching grief in this way means you are completely deficit oriented. The best you can imagine is a reduction in tension, a lessening of pain and discomfort. But grief is a chance for growth too, a chance to take stock, to make important changes that will exert a profound positive effect on your living relationships and your chosen life path.

Here are a few ways in which grief and growth can go together:

– You stop taking your own life for granted, fully realizing the precariousness and preciousness of your existence.

– You decide to work on improving the quality of your other close relationships, knowing you could lose any of them at any time

– You decide life is too short for banalities and choose a career and activities that are personally meaningful for you

– You cultivate real gratitude for all the gifts that were bestowed upon you by whatever or whoever you have lost, gratitude that may not have been there before

– You decide to live in a way that would make the person you have lost proud

– You face your extremely powerful and painful emotions honestly, helping you to be more in touch with your emotional life from here on out

– You reconnect with important people who you had drifted away from over the years

– You come to accept that change is an inevitable part of life, increasing your equanimity in the face of your own life changes

There are many more bullet points we could add. Our point is simply that if you only see grief from the deficit side you miss out on the growth side, on all of the ways that grief can change your existential situation for the better.