July 21st, 2009 7:44 AM by Lehel Szucs
Grief and Telling the Truth - By Sandy Clendenen
While I would not say that I am a people pleaser, I would say that I prefer to avoid conflict. In fact, I really dislike conflict.
This desire to avoid conflict has led me to compromise my truth, especially after I lost my husband.
Someone would ask me how I was doing. At first I tried to be honest. Maybe I had just found something of meaning that belonged to my husband. Maybe I had been crying, wrapped up in a blanket on the couch. Maybe I had been missing our life together on the farm.
I shared my honest feelings at first. Most of the time I felt more uncomfortable after sharing, primarily because the person inquiring seemed to be feeling more uncomfortable.
I learned that expressing my honest feelings really seemed to be unproductive. I often felt frustrated by the encounter.
I began to numb out and say I was O.K. when someone inquired. That way the emotional disconnect did not occur.
Or did it?
Reflecting back now, I believe I was sacrificing my truth in order that the inquiring person could feel better. If I said I felt O.K., they could feel O.K. Everything was O.K.
Except, I did not express my truth. And I really cheated the other person out of hearing my truth.
My story is not unique. Our culture as a whole tends to deny grief and loss. It's easier that way.
This denial really keeps us stuck in our grief. When feelings are dismissed or denied, there is no healing or growth.
So... HOW ARE YOU REALLY FEELING?
Acknowledgment of your feelings is the beginning of your MOVE BEYOND GRIEF. Acknowledgment leads to greater awareness, which in turn brings choices.
You have a choice of whether to share your feelings or keep them to yourself. This is your decision, based on what feels right for you. This is different from denying your reality in order that others will not feel uncomfortable.
ACKNOWLEDGE. ACCEPT. MAKE YOUR CHOICE.
About the Author: Sandy Clendenen lost her husband and best friend in 1999, after 21 years of marriage. Her grief process was lengthy and complex. Sandy felt stuck in layers of unresolved grief. As part of her healing, Sandy filled numerous journals with her thoughts and feelings. A review of these journals several years later revealed insights into the grief process, which Sandy is now committed to sharing with other grievers. Sandy attended seminary for 3 years. She also received her Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology. Sandy has also worked in various areas of hands on healing. Sandy incorporates her vast personal experience and education into her grief coaching products and services. http://www.movebeyondgrief.com
Check out the Experts page for Sandy Clendenen, the SelfGrowth.com Official Guide to Grief and Bereavement.