How Are You Choosing To Master the Emotional Challenges of Loss?


Life is full of losses – empty nesters, ending of a career to retirement or losing loved ones.


It’s important to notice how you are experiencing these situations. Celebration or Remorse?


They can take you down if you allow them too.


There are stages of grief that you will experience. Feel the pain, the sadness, and your loss. These people mattered to you. Feel the gratitude, love, and memories. You decide the emotions you want to experience.


But equally important is to begin thinking about what’s next given the circumstances and reality of your life now. Not easy, but needed.


As Tony Robbins states, “Our goal is not to ignore the problems of life, but to put ourselves in better mental emotional states to not only come up with solutions but really meet the challenge and take action.”


With all change, the first step to shift your perspective and energy is to notice where you are headed. Are you headed in a downward spiral? Are you grieving the loss? Are you savoring the memories?   Are you ready to take the next step?


Remember, you always have a choice.


You just have to be conscious and pay attention. Notice.If you are dragging or lost, choose a better feeling thought. Think about

If you are dragging or lost, choose a better feeling thought. Think about something that brings you joy. Ask empowering questions like, “What would bring a smile to my face?”  

Change your physiology. Move, get in nature, take a bubble bath, do some yoga.


This week my husband lost one of his younger brothers and a good friend’s daughter lost her husband. Both have chosen to do “Celebrations of their lives.”


I know for me when I hear that term, it helps me think about the love and memories more than the sadness. I know there is great sadness, hurt and voids whenever life changes. I start to cry each time we talk about Bo’s brother. It’s a mirror to my loss of my sister. It’s hard stuff.


When we went to visit our sister-in-law and her children, they had all these pictures out of all the wonderful things they had done and experienced. He loved camping and fishing. You could see the joy and fun they shared. My husband brought some videos he had taken over the years of their camping expeditions. It was fun listening to the stories they added as we watched and enjoyed the pictures.


What I know is that it is unhealthy to linger too long in your loss. It is important to feel all the emotions that come over you, that will continue to pop in there for years and years. It’s how you master your emotions that matters.


In time, realize it’s time to begin a new chapter in your life. You get to design and decide what that will look like for you. I know when I went through my divorce, one of the hardest things for me was to be okay with being single when I went to events where most couples would be. It was a process to reestablish my identity about who I was then.


When your children leave home, there are many losses. You suddenly wonder what you will do, you lose the immediate connection and involvement with them and your roles change.


When you are moving from your career to retirement, huge losses – your identity, your social connections, your value, your income, your routines and the mental challenges you had from your work.


Bill Thomas, a geriatrician, says, “Healing is not going back to how things used to be. Healing is going forward and finding your new normal.”


The quality of your life is based about how you master the emotional challenges of life. You decide and choose your focus based on the language and models you use. The contrast can show you how much you felt and cared. It can remind you of what’s most important in your life.


Let that guide you to what’s next for you.


Let those be opportunities to live your life more fully. Let the people in your life know how much they matter to you. Spend more time together and create more memorable experiences.


In the end, how you loved and how you lived is all that matters.

Emotional mastery is the key to living the life you want.