I originally was going to write this post for those around us, who feel they have to dictate our grief journeys but then I realized that most important it’s about showing up for ourselves. And in my humble opinion, I don’t believe that we can show up for anyone else until we show up for ourselves.
What does showing up mean?
My definition of showing up for yourself is that you must begin to allow yourself to feel what you feel. You have to meet yourself where you are. No matter where that is. And where you are in your grief journey is where you are. So in order to show up for yourself, you first have to figure out where you are.
Where am I?
I struggle with this all the time but what has made answering this question easier, is to identify that there isn’t anywhere I am supposed to be but instead, it’s imperative that I allow myself to be where I am without judgment or without believing that I am wrong or right. And when I allow myself to reside in my feelings, in my grief that is how I can identify where I am. This is also called becoming self-aware. Figure out where you are. Not where anyone or even yourself thinks you have to be.
What is next?
Here’s the deal, if you believe you can, you can and if you believe you can’t then you can’t. What is next is up to you, the choices that you make are all up to you. No matter what.
What is next isn’t necessarily a moment or an action but instead, you deciding this grief has to be incorporated into my life and what’s next is learning to live after loss. What that looks like and what that feels like is all up to my actions and my decisions. But I can change my mind or decide I want to take it slow or fast. The grief is all mine.
I may seem as if I am on repeat but when you recognize that the grief is only yours… and how you grieve, how you handle your grief – that’s yours. But we often will feel pressured to “get over it” and/or “to move on”. This isn’t true, it’s what we believe to be true. The realization comes when we decide – that how we grieve and whatever timetable we are on, isn’t a timetable but instead incorporating grief into our lives. The realization that we don’t have to be any certain way is when we can start to show up for ourselves.
How can I show up for myself?
So you’ve realized this is your grief and now it’s about showing up for yourself to find your life after loss. And this is where again the self-awareness is everything. A lot of times we think self-care is optional and that’s just not true. Self-care is mandatory to show up for yourself – as simple as bathing or as intricate as getting weekly manicures. Do what you need to, to stay healthy. To be well both mentally and physically. Showing up for yourself is to make sure you are eating, drinking water and moving your body. Showing up for yourself is allowing yourself to cry and allow yourself to laugh. Belly laugh. Showing up for yourself can be what you make it to be.
How do I start?
Gently. Yes, I am serious. You have to allow yourself to be gentle with yourself and attempt everything and see what works for you. What I mean by attempt everything is – to ask yourself with every task- how does this make me feel? And at least one task in your day should bring you a moment of happiness. At least one moment of your day should bring you laughter.
Believe that you have the ability to move forward, believe that you can and you will make it through even if at this moment you aren’t completely sure how that looks and what that feels like. How you start is showing up for yourself where you are and watch what you do for yourself, what you do to yourself and how you engage in life. There is no judgment, you have to begin.
Recently I’ve started a health journey and I am struggling, but no matter what each day I am going to show up, no matter what. I don’t need anyone’s approval or their blessing – I am doing this for me. Only me. And today I show up for myself. As I am, in my grief. Today I slept until 11:30 am and I am ok with this. I no longer will be in the mold of someone who’s grieving. I define myself as someone who lives with the grief.
I encourage you to observe your state of living or state of not living and start with a shower, start with sleeping, start with prayer – wherever you are, show up for yourself to do one thing just for yourself!
I’m here with you and today we can choose ourselves! I am showing up for myself and I encourage you to do the same!
I would love to support you, I am giving 30-minute Zoom sessions for the month of February, you get to keep the recording and you can click here to schedule for the month of February.
Also, come get support by joining After Chloe’s Private Facebook Group by clicking here