Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Traveling the Road of Life

“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. 
I travel for travel's sake. The great affair is to move.” 
Robert Lewis Stevenson

I like to make the analogy between traveling and working through the pain of loss.

Life is a long and winding road, and, although we may think we know where we are going, sometimes our path is laden with surprises along the way. At times, we are pleasantly surprised at the turn of events, and at other times, bitterly disappointed.

The thing we need to remember about our journey is that it is ever changing and despite disappointment and heartache, we never have to get permanently stuck in one place.

Perhaps you have heard the adage by Roy M. Goodman that “happiness is a way of travel and not a destination." The same can be said for grief and the ensuing sadness. Mired in a negative place over any sort of loss or disappointment does not need to be your ultimate destination. 

After losing a partner, this place is definitely a stopover on your journey. And maybe you think you will never get to leave or that it is taking an awfully long time to catch the next bus out of there! 

Spending your time well in this place will determine how long you have to stay. To name a few productive activities in which you can participate while there ... take the time to examine your life; learn about the “new you”; determine what you want to accomplish going forward; find your smile again; and adjust your attitude to one of gratitude.

Figuratively speaking ....

At first, you can take day trips out of grief. As you make more readjustments – maybe a weekend getaway. Soon you can visit other lands for weeks on end without feeling the need to go back to “Griefville.”  At other times, an event might occur and you will feel that tug back to your grief. However, now you are in the driver’s seat so that you can leave on your own timetable instead of waiting for someone to pick you up or having to wait for a bus, train, etc. 

Please know that at some point in time, “Griefville” will seem like a foreign country to you. You will remember that you felt sad there, but those hurtful emotions will not pierce the surface deep enough to draw endless blood again.

Lastly, from your time spent in this country, remember to take with you some souvenirs, such as the hard lessons learned, good friends made, self realizations found, inner strength actualized, and a new found love and respect for life and love.

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