“Re-examine all that you have been told…dismiss that which insults your soul.”-Walt Whitman
Social opinions on grief are everywhere. They invade a grievers space from day one and snowball over time thanks to well-meaning (and not so well-meaning) grief supporters who aim to “fix” us and help us “get over” loss.
We react to these intrusions with confusion (am I wrong or crazy?), anger (stop telling me what to do!), and pleasing behaviors (I’ll just do whatever they say even though it’s not what I want). Or we numb ourselves to the criticisms with anything we can find to drown our the lecturing voices. It is all far too overwhelming.
Grievers need peace amidst the chaos of suggestions and instructions on how to handle self-care. In that moment, take stock of the advice given and examine how it fits with your values, your shifting priorities, and your life goals.
The best advice doesn’t always come from an outside source. In that moment of peace, an inner voice repeats advice it has been humming for a while. Advice that is suited exactly to your grief journey.
We know what we need. We already have the healing path within ourselves. We need the time, the peace, and the grace to be able to listen to it speak within us. The voice is quiet but consistent, and easily drowned out by louder outsider elements. This isn’t to say that grief supporters have no good advice to give, they do. But even if it is good, the griever gets the final say on whether it is good for themselves.
Find a moment of calm. Review advice you’ve heard. Cast away what doesn’t feel like a good option for you. Listen to your inner self and follow the path that rises within.