How Do We Get To A Point Of Acceptance During Loss?

Last week I wrote about how my hairdresser cruised some really challenging circumstances by kicking off from a point of acceptance. See Which “V” do you choose? (Three A’s to happiness in a storm.)

You may have heard of the Five Phases of Grief, a model put forward by the Swiss psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in 1969, and still used today. Although it was first mooted as the way in which we deal with news we are fatally ill, she later modified it to include the way we deal with any form of personal loss – including things like bereavement, losing a job, suffering a major rejection, divorce or relationship break-up, and so on. It outlines the way we respond to even minor defeats.

When we suffer a setback, our first default position is Denial, where we kid ourselves that this isn’t really happening. Perhaps we just misunderstood the meaning of it! Once we can no longer deny the truth of our circumstances, we feel Anger, and we rage against the injustice of the world. And when the energy of this anger is spent, we try Bargaining – perhaps with God, perhaps with the lover who rejected us. We try to negotiate an alternate way of still being able to hang onto the circumstances as they were before they went wrong. When we finally realize that this isn’t working, we go into Depression, a withdrawal into ourselves, and deep grieving for what has been lost. Only then, do we reach Acceptance, that point at which we stop fighting it and begin to work with it.

It is from this point of Acceptance that we can find peace.

But be very loving and patient with yourself while you are getting here.

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