Thoughts on Finality
What is finality? It is the arrival of an irreversible ending. An abrupt finality of death. Conclusiveness, certainty, decisiveness, definiteness, a tone or manner that bring no further argument. In this week’s episode, I talk about the finality of losing a valuable relationship in your life. The effect of this absence is painful, difficult, and hard to heal. But you can move past it. Below, I discuss ways of getting through such a loss.
Why does it hurt so much?
Emotional pain cannot be located or touched, so it becomes difficult to solve it psychologically. This loss is particularly difficult because we are afraid of the emotional pain. This fear makes it hard to face the pain we’re going through and get through it.
When you lose someone, you often want to say: she or he was mine, using possessive pronouns as if they belonged to you and loss stole them from you. The contrary is true. They never belonged to you. You didn’t make them—the true essence, the spirit in all humans, is not from you. That is why even a child can grow up differently than his or her parents. They never belonged to you, so they were never yours to lose in the first place. If we see life in this manner, we will appreciate our loved ones while they are still here and realize that every minute spent with them is a gift. When we do this, we can begin to better accept the finality of such a relationship and begin the healing process. Most of all, we can begin to celebrate the life of whomever we have lost, the value they have given us, and cherish this value so that healing, growth, and thriving will happen.
I know this from personal experience. Don’t deny it, don’t avoid it, don’t diminish it. Some people call it closure. Even if this closure cannot be seen, touched, or heard, you must give it to yourself for your own good.
What is the point of all this pain?
Pain is a guide post pointing in the direction of where you should pay more attention. Where you should care more, love more, give more, be more patient, nurture more and show more compassion. When you bump your elbow on the edge of a table, the pain tells you to explore your body for damage and be more careful with your body. Why is it that when we feel emotional pain, we stop exploring and try to hide from it? We are afraid to confront it. Instead we avoid it, put a bandaid on it, cover it up and fight off anyone willing to help us explore it. But facing and exploring emotional pain is the first step in the healing process. Without it, healing will not happen. Instead, it will only get worse over time.
How do time and space factor in the process?
Fear tricks you into thinking that it is inescapable. It traps you in the past and keeps you worrying, blaming, and regretting the valued relationship that just ended. It throws you into the future and makes you doubt your ability to form another valued relationship. It makes you anxious about what the future looks like without the person you loved. But fear isn’t rooted in time. It’s all in your mind. When you face that fear, it will disappear.
How can you take care of yourself better to heal better?
Stop thinking destructively or negatively when you’re emotionally charged. If you are thinking of harming yourself, please ask for help or get help. You can ask for someone to check in on you, but take care of yourself too and clean out those negative thoughts. They form a great feedback loop, just like fear breeds more fear. Replace the negative thoughts with positive thoughts to neutralize them.
Don’t harm yourself. Often, harming yourself can be so subtle that you don’t even notice you’re doing it. When you starve your body of food, you are harming yourself. When you stop hydrating your body, you are harming yourself. When you stop getting enough sleep, you are harming yourself. When you stop taking your prescribed medication for no good reason, you are harming yourself. You may deny the intention of self-harm, but you are slowly and stealthily harming yourself nonetheless.
Why is accepting finality necessary?
The urgency to accept the finality of a valued relationship comes from the danger of self-harm. Injuring your tissues and organs will not change the loss. Pretending that you are not suffering will not lead to healing. This is one place that “fake it til you make it” will not pan out well for you.
The psychologist Dr. William Worden illustrated the need for finality as the first step to healing. Dr. Elizabeth Kubler Ross called this step “acceptance.” Below, I’ve listed tips I learned on how to handle the barriers that prevent us from finality. Listen to S.02 Epi. 02 of “Loss Is Not A Taboo Word” on www.lostandprofoundtv.org. or my Facebook page, lostandprofoundtv, to hear me go into more detail. Also check out the some products I’ve added to inspire, motivate, and support your process, whether you're recovering, surviving, healing, growing, or thriving, at www.the-profound-store.myshopify.com
How to reach finality:
Be kind to yourself. You have a wound you can’t touch, but just like any wound, it will heal in time. Take care of yourself while you’re going through this process.
Don’t blame yourself for the loss. Blame is a child of fear that seduces you away from the present and healing.
Accept help if someone genuinely offers.
Get help if you are thinking of self-harm, whether the intention is subtle or violent. Take your medication, feed your body, drink enough water, avoid excessive use of any substance or abuse, avoid stressful situations, and avoid self-generated or environmental stress.
It’s okay to let others know that you’re healing. Let them know what’s going on with you.
Old stuff will creep up on you. You must be ready to engage. All the rejection, unresolved relationships, disappointments, and hurt will come back to haunt you. Be ready for it, don’t be afraid of it. Now is the time to heal those past wounds. Do this by sending love to all involved.
Do the hardest thing first! In this situation, dealing with the finality is the only way through the pain.
Put everything on pause if you must. The sooner you face the pain and become familiar with it, the sooner it becomes your guidepost pointing you where you need to heal, love and grow. If you postpone this, it will return.
I have personal experience in this. After my brother passed, it took me many years to realize what I had done: I didn’t face the finality. So I had to do it after many years. Loss obeys neither time nor space. Know that fear of pain is fear of healing, fear of thriving and fear of growth. It is fear of becoming profound. There’s a good reason for the term “growth pains.” Growth is only comfortable in hindsight. To grow, you must accept the pain and discomfort of it.
Thanks for reading! Tune into my current episode, and stay tuned for the next one.