After Loss: We Are Our Own Evidence

| Grief Author and Speaker

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134Validation Comes From Within

If we need validation or proof of our own transformation after loss or other life altering events, we need look no further than ourselves.   We can only assess for ourselves the progress we have made on our journeys.  The validation from others regarding our progress is important but in reality it is a byproduct of the work we are doing from the inside out to change our perspectives after loss.  The work we do is an authentic representation of what we believe and where we are in our journey. We are a product of our beliefs, which we adopted because of the influence of, among others, our parents, teachers and peers. It is easy to judge someone else’s experience as invalid or not applying to us. It is a way for us to stay safe, to dare not risk venturing into unknown territory and to keep people of different beliefs and ideologies at bay.  Our refusal to witness perspectives that are different without judging them is not an innate skill but one, which I believe, is acquired through experience.

A Limited Worldview

Prior to my daughter Jeannine’s death in 2003, I tended to be closed off to the possibilities of life after death, reincarnation and continued bonds with our loved ones. My deceased mother Sadie believed in all of the above. Despite her best efforts to open my eyes up to a different world, my eyes remained shut.  Even when her spirit appeared to me in the bedroom of my house, a month after she died, that event itself did not change my empirical view of the world.   I viewed her visitation as an isolated incident.   The impact of her visit did nothing to change my beliefs.

I loved my mother, but resented the fact that she didn’t marry again after my father left us, when I was five. I also was angry because of her need to overprotect me. But as I approach my sixtieth birthday, I realize that those resentments prevented me from opening myself up to my mother’s world, a world of endless, multidimensional possibilities. I now realize that the world was not a safe place for my mother after my father left, and she had to do what was necessary to make it safe for the both of us.  I know longer have resentments towards my mother, but only a deep and infinite love that transcends my physical world.  I am also thankful that resentment was present in my life, because it revealed to me what I needed to subsequently embrace, in order to open myself up to the possibilities of life and life after death.

Empowering Discoveries

I have also learned that the outward emotions or states of mind that drive our interactions with others may be an expression of more comprehensive patterns of behaviors and/or life themes that unconsciously prevent us from transforming our worldview.   If, for example, I constantly generalize a setback in one area of my life to all areas of my life, it may be because of a general lack of safety that I experience about the world a general lack of mistrust in others, or lack of faith that the universe will fulfill my needs. . My experience of rejection, in this case, is illusion posing as truth.   Embracing this discovery empowers me to change how I relate to the world and to myself. Feeling safe and secure in who I am and how I represent who I am to the world plays a significant role in how I see others.

I recently heard a line in an in an episode of Cold Case, which is as follows: “I am my own evidence.”   How we experience the world is unique to us. The interpretation of beliefs or events that shape that experience is unique to us.  We know better than anyone, the unique impact of our experience, and if we are open to the teachings revealed to us, our interactions with others become both enriched and nonjudgmental.

“Unless you learn to face your own shadows, you will continue to see them in others, because the world outside you is only a reflection of the world inside you.”
Copyright David Roberts of Bootsy & Angel Books, LLC (www.bootsyandangel.com). Post originally published by the Open to Hope Foundation (www.opentohope.com)

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| Grief Author and Speaker

David J. Roberts, LMSW, CASAC, became a parent who experienced the death of a child, after his daughter Jeannine died of cancer on 3/1/03 at the age of 18. He is a retired addiction professional and is also an adjunct professor in the psychol...