Have you ever been given a writing assignment and struggle with what to say?
If so, and I am guessing that most of you have found yourself in this situation, you have been in my shoes.
I have noticed that I have been feeling unsettled and have struggled to stay focused and motivated.
Maybe it is the fact that I have a birthday coming up. I usually take that time to get away and spend time reflecting on the past and making a few plans for the future. Not this year.
Maybe it is the fact that Mother’s Day is this week, and I will not be spending time with family.
Maybe it is the fact that I need a haircut, and I am not sure whether or not to take action.
All of that is certainly part of it.
However, the root of it all is that I am experiencing grief.
In fact, I am experiencing what David Kessler, a grief expert, describes as anticipatory grief. Anticipatory grief creates anxiety as I think of the future and tend to imagine the worst possible scenarios. Does this sound familiar?
Anticipatory grief is what you experience when you or a loved one receive a “bad” diagnosis or you imagine losing a parent or whatever it is that gives you security. And, it is based on your imagination—your mind runs rampant and plays tricks on you.
What can I do?
First, a key to all types of grief is acceptance. That is where the power lies. I think of Jesus as he anticipated his death. He knew that his death is where the power existed. The pain and suffering is not what Jesus wanted, but he knew that it was necessary.
Second, I can put Romans 12:2 into action: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
I can use acceptance to determine my best path forward.
In other words, I can tell myself the truth of what I can control and what I can do—wash my hands; wear a mask; social distance; worship virtually; Facetime with family and friends; write in a gratitude journal. All of these are things that help me make a mental and emotional shift.
Finally, there have been other times in my life when I have needed professional help to deal with changes and challenges in my life. If I need to, I can call my medical professional or the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990.
No doubt, my world has changed and will continue to change. My feelings and our emotions are real. And, so are yours!
We are in this together,