Handling Mementos of Loss
Photographs, sculptures, personal belongings—things you can see, touch, smell feel, taste and hear that remind you of something that’s gone. Where do mementos fit into the process of healing from loss? I dive into this subject on this week’s episode of Loss is Not a Taboo Word. These mementos can be a double-edged sword, reminding you of what you loved, but also binding you to an unpleasant experience of your loss. Below, I discuss how to deal with this important part of surviving, healing, growing, thriving, and becoming profound through loss.
Don’t destroy them
Mementos can be beautiful and painful at the same time. Even if they hurt you by bringing back painful memories or reminding you of what you’ve lost, put them away, don’t destroy them. Don’t destroy them until you’re done with healing. You may want to have them later… or not. Now is not the best time to decide. Destroying these objects will do nothing to help your healing. It isn’t the mementos that are contaminated with loss, it is you. Destroying them now may help you move on now, but it won’t help you live on now. It won’t help you move forward.
To live on, you must embrace the good and the bad. Most importantly, you must learn to use both to thrive, create happiness and love. You must learn to use both to grow, heal and survive. Remember that these mementos are a part of your life experiences that have made you who you are today. Growth and healing aren’t easy and they aren’t pleasant. But in hindsight, they will be absolutely worth the time, attention and effort. Nothing and no one is more important than your healing. If you need to, put this phrase up in your bedroom, on the home screen of your phone, laptop, wear it as a t-shirt, have it as your bedsheet, or your shower curtain… If any of these ways of wearing your affirmation catch your attention, take a look at theprofoundstore.myshopify.com, the store I created to remind you of your healing and inspire you to keep growing and thriving.
Loss is universal, no one can escape it. Those feelings you’re having about what to do with that picture of someone you loved, that object from the house you no longer live in, that book a friend gave you who you no longer hear from… Every person has felt these things, or will at some time in their life. Healing is available to everyone who experiences loss, just like love is available. We have to choose to be open to it. Not everyone survives, recovers, heals, grows, thrives or becomes profound. But everyone can survive, recover, heal, grow, thrive and become profound after loss. Through healing, you can begin to grow into the new person loss has transformed you into.
Tips on healing
When you are in the process of healing, anticipate positive outcomes. Energy goes where you attention goes. Whatever you focus on becomes very powerful at this moment in your life. Think of yourself almost like an electric wire. On the destructive side, you are uninsulated and ready to burn anyone or any relationship that’s in your way. On the constructive side, you can also bring light to the dark places, illuminate yourself and others with your pain, your healing, your growth, and your profoundness. Be careful not to isolate yourself, even when people avoid you, or push people away, even when you want to avoid them. Focus on the positive outcome and the light from the positive will eventually illuminate the dark spots. There may only be a few positives in your life, but you must maximize them. Savor them, dwell on them, enjoy them. Plan or schedule them if you can. They will do their job to point you to where you need to love more, heal more, grow more, thrive more.
Embrace your fear
On the flip side of the positives in your life, there is always fear. Fear is the antithesis of love. When you are afraid, you are not loving yourself. If you find yourself afraid, know that it’s pointing you to what you need to pay attention to or love more. Don’t ignore your fear and let it consume you. Let it teach you and show you where to focus your healing. Don’t let fear steal you away from the present, put you in the past to regret, feel guilt and self-pity. Don’t let fear steal you away from the present, put you in the future to doubt yourself, feel uncertainty about what will happen to you. Let me dispel the mystery of what will happen to you—you will heal, as long as you stay alive. You may fear being alone, but you are never alone. You may fear being deserted, but desertion only happens when you push people away. You may fear that you’ll never have another valuable relationship, but you will have many valuable relationships—if you stay alive. The one you had is lost. It has played its part. It got you where you are to heal, grow and thrive.
Pain is a guidepost, showing you where you need to heal the most. If you can’t find the wound, how will you know what needs healing? It’s the job of pain to direct you. Fear and pain have a job to do, and when they are done, set them free. Don’t let yourself become dependent on them. Use your fear and pain to find love. Use them as a light to light the way to love and healing, growth and thriving. You’ll heal, you’ll thrive, because you are profound. Listen to my latest show, S.02 Epi. 04 of “Loss Is Not A Taboo Word.” at www.lostandprofoundtv.org. or my Facebook page—lostandprofoundtv to hear me go into more detail. See you next week.