I’d like to focus today on grief. I have had quite a few significant events that have brought grief into my life. Interestingly, I wasn’t even aware of the impact they had on me until many months later. These events included a transition from one business to creating a new one, our son leaving for college within a week of my business changing, and then a very significant relationship that started professionally and grew into a personal relationship had a significant challenge and changed forms as well.
As I’ve gotten through each of the events above and reflected on their impact on my life, I have thought of several ways grief can be good for us both personally and professionally.
Grief Reveals our Capacity to Commit
The first thing that is good about grief is that it shows us that we cared about, committed to, or were involved in something that was so significant that we miss it. We view it as a loss. This is a testament to our capacity for commitment. We committed ourselves to something or someone that it hurts that they, or it, no longer exist in our lives. We need to celebrate the fact that we created something so significant that the loss has a real impact on our lives. That says something about who we are as a person.
Grief Reveals a Deeper Sense of Self
The second good thing about grief is that we need to recognize that it opens us up to even deeper levels of ourselves and our profound capacity to feel. There is much truth to the expression that the deeper the pain, the greater the joy. It is all part of the same process. As we access these deep emotions, it helps us to engage with ourselves and others in a deeper and more authentic way.
Grief Opens Doors for New Beginnings
The third positive aspect of grief is that it is the sign of an ending. When there is a death or a loss, it is making room and space for the new. A new beginning, a new birth, a new life. Without leaving the old behind or clearing the clutter in our heads and in our lives (by choice or circumstance) we would soon find there is no place for anything new. Will we miss the old? Absolutely. But, it also provides the room necessary to introduce new and exciting relationships and opportunities.
As I have had time to process and grieve the loss of all three of these events, I now see good that has emerged and a deeper resilience I have developed. My new business is thriving and a new energy has returned. Our son has grown into an impressive and more independent and responsible young man. Michael and I are finding new ways to enjoy one another. The voids have been filled and replaced with new life, new experiences, new directions.
With grief comes sorrow, but if we can reframe how we think about grief and loss in a more positive way we can embrace it, understand that this too shall pass and know there will be better times ahead where our inner brilliance will shine in and through us!
About the Author
Jennifer Whitaker is a Business Strategist and Executive Coach with a lifelong passion for helping people to discover their unique brilliance and reach their highest potential. With over 25 years of experience in a blend of counseling, management and ownership positions, Jennifer understands first-hand the unique dynamics of high-performing cultures. Using this foundation of experience, she empowers and supports her clients in discovering their unique inner brilliance that yields outstanding results in life and work.
Jennifer, as Founder and CEO of Executive Brilliance ( http://www.executivebrilliance.com ), an Executive Coaching and business consultancy, assists CEOs to be highly successful as a leader in their workplace, as well as their own life. Her work blends a powerful skill set that can remedy a host of issues an organization faces in their quest for high-performance. Jennifer’s specific areas of expertise include leadership development, management transition and interpersonal effectiveness.