I hope you’re staying safe and well. And I hope your week has been relatively stress free. To be honest I’ve really been enjoying the quieter pace of life. My hubby and I even started a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle this week. It’s been quite addictive. I guess it’s one way to enjoy the beautiful buildings in Belgium or the canals in Venice. It may be long time before we get to travel overseas again.
We’ve also been doing more reading and catching up with friends and family via Zoom or FaceTime. On the whole we’re doing pretty well. I know not everyone is though, and it’s especially tough if you’ve lost your income or if you’ve lost the support to need to manage life and/or kids, elderly parents or someone who‘s dependent on you. And potentially very tough if you have a health or mental health issue.
This week I found a great model that shows the different stages we might go through during this time. It was created by Gabrielle Treanor. I love the way it illustrates so clearly what you may be experiencing and ideally it gives you a bit of a guide to feeling better.
I’ve also found that as a result of the COVID restrictions, people have been going through various stages of grief. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, author, psychiatrist and pioneer in near death studies, first outlined these stages in her book On Death and Dying way back in 1964.
Kubler-Ross described the typical process people go through when they’re grieving. The stages don’t just apply to death and dying but to any loss, including the loss of your freedom, a relationship, a job, your right to hug your grandchildren or have a beer at the pub.
1. The first stage is DENIAL. You’re in disbelief. This can’t possibly be happening. It can’t possibly be true. Surely it’s just a bad dream. If I ignore it it will go away. Your handbag will turn up, your partner couldn’t possibly want to leave you, the medical test results must wrong, Corona is no worse than the flu, everyone is over reacting.etc. I guess this is how many of us felt when we first heard about this pandemic.
2. The next stage is BARGAINING. This is the “If Only….? or What If…? ” stage. It’s when you try to negotiate to make it go away or minimise it. “If I take enough Vitamin C I’ll be fine, if only China had gone into lock down sooner, if only the Government had been better prepared, if only they hadn’t let those passengers off the Ruby Princess. What if I wear a mask when I visit friends, what if we just isolate the elderly?” etc.
This can be a solution seeking stage but it can also be the blaming stage.
3. Then comes ANGER. “Why does my life have to be affected like this? Our Government is doing too much, or too little. It’s not fair. This shouldn’t be happening!”
4. The fourth stage is SADNESS. When you stop being angry that’s when what we typically think of as grieving begins. There may be tears, a strong feeling of missing the things you’ve lost, feeling depressed, lonely or like life has no purpose.
5. The final stage of grieving is ACCEPTANCE. This is when all the other emotions seem to clear and you come to a point of calmness. A sense that “it is what it IS”. You let go of the resistance to the current situation and acknowledge that it can’t be changed. You stop fighting against it.
There’s a Buddhist saying that, “Serenity comes when you trade expectations for acceptance.” They also say, “The cause of all suffering is resisting what is.”
Of course it’s really normal to flip from one stage to another as you go through the process of grieving. It’s often two steps forward and one back. You’re actually doing well if you can find that point of acceptance and serenity, even if you slip back into anger or sadness temporarily.
6. I know I’m mixing my models but I like the idea of adding another stage to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross’s model. The next stage after ACCEPTANCE according to Gabrielle Treanor’s model is GROWTH. This is when you start to find the good in what’s happened.
It’s when you realise what you’ve learned that’s beneficial. When you use the opportunity to make positive changes in your life. When you dig deep and find strength, resources, creativity and resilience you didn’t know you had. It’s when your skill set, comfort zone, compassion or consciousness expands. You elevate your life.
Did you know that the Chinese character for Crisis is the same as Opportunity? I think maybe we should start calling this a COVID Opportunity. What do you think?
So… What stage are you in? What’s your typical default mode? What learning and growth is possible for you as a result of this situation? How can you emerge from this and be a more enlightened version of yourself?
When you set the intention to GROW from this experience, believe it or not, you’ll find opportunities everywhere you look.
Have a fabulous week.
Occupational Therapist and Clinical Hypnotherapist
Simply Natural Therapies
03 9842 7033
Alison Burton is an Occupational Therapist and one of Melbourne’s leading Clinical Hypnotherapists. She’s the owner of Simply Natural Therapies.
Alison is a sought after public speaker and has appeared on ABC National Radio, SBS Radio and is a regular guest on 3WBC Radio. She’s also featured in The Age, Herald Sun, Insight Magazine and local news media. Alison specialises in anxiety management and mind-body healing particularly in relation to Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other gut disorders.
Alison has a keen interest in all aspects of natural health and well-being, energy medicine, human consciousness and bringing more common sense and kindness to the planet.
She has three adult children and 5 adorable grandchildren.
Take a look at Alison’s powerful and extensive range of Hypnosis MP3 recordings HERE.
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