7 Steps to Deal with Grief of Any Kind (Including a Death in the Family)
Grief is something we mainly associate with the death of a loved one. Did you know that we mourn over major life changes? Whether it’s a divorce, losing a job, or moving home to take care of elderly parents, we grieve over things that happen in our lives that make us emotionally vulnerable. We spoke with Rabbi Melinda Bernstein, a Kundalini yoga teacher, life coach, and energy healer about her seven-step process for dealing with grief and moving on with our lives.
Talking About Grief
Talking about our grief is the first step of the healing process. Most people can’t talk about it, especially when they approach the subject of their own mortality. Losing a loved one makes us think about our own death – and our fear of it. Beginning that conversation opens us up emotionally when we may not be ready for it.
This is especially true for any event that signals the end of a phase in our lives. We grieve over the end of a relationship, the end of our careers, or the death of a family member. As we are mourning, we have to face what we want our lives to be once we recover. According to Melinda, even complaining about our lives and our mortality is healthy because “complaining about it is where we begin.”
The ROADMAP: 7 Steps to Deal with Grief and Change Your Life
In her work as a life coach, Rabbi Melinda Bernstein developed a seven-step program to guide others through significant life changes. Her ROADMAP focuses on identifying the problem and taking steps to create the reality you want for yourself. However, these techniques are also valuable in starting conversations about grief, death, and afterlife.
R: Take Responsibility
The only way you can begin is to take responsibility for yourself. Instead of blaming others, you need to be the one who makes changes in your life. If you are enduring a painful life transition, such as a divorce or a job loss, you must acknowledge your role in that event. When it’s time to start a conversation about your mortality, you should initiate that discussion.
O: Be Open to Change
As you go through tragic events in your life, you should be open to the changes that will result. Not everything in life happens according to plan: when we mourn the end of one phase of our lives, it begins something new. Job losses, divorces, and other major life events lead you down a different path. If you are grieving a family member, their death will make you stronger than you were before.
A: Become Aware of Your Surroundings
When you become open to change in your life, you are more aware of your new surroundings. During the mourning process, everyone reaches a point where they have to move on. Embracing your new reality makes you focus on what changes you need to make in your life.
D: Discipline, Discernment, and Determination
According to Rabbi Bernstein, reaching the steps of discipline, discernment, and determination are the most difficult. She says, “This is the moment where people say, ‘I can’t do it.’” However, approaching your life changes with these three abilities are the key to success.
During this phase, you identify changes you want to make in your life. If you are grieving, you want to move on. When you feel as if your life is in chaos, you want to adjust. As you recover, approach everything with discipline, determination, and discernment – or good moral and mental judgment.
As you move through this step, Melinda advises that you will have a moment of clarity where you will know you are on the right track. If you don’t, or if your plan isn’t working, she suggests returning to the first “Take Responsibility” step to rethink your actions. Sometimes we have to reconsider our goals, or we have to start smaller; the most important thing is to find a plan that keeps us moving forward.
Once you transform your life using the preceding step, your new life will manifest. This is the direct result of the changes you have made towards your plan of what you want your life to be. Your new life can manifest in many ways: you can move on after mourning the death of a family member, start a new career or skill, or have an engaging social life.
Even though you have been working to change your circumstances, allowing these changes to help you completely move forward might be difficult. Many of us struggle with our self-worth after a traumatic event. To fully embrace the next stage in your life, find ways to recognize and identify your worth. You deserve a full and happy life.
P: Possibility, Purpose, Passion
Now that you believe you are worthy of your new life, it will be full of possibilities. When one door closes, another door opens. As you move forward into the latest phase of your life, it can be precisely what you want it to be. You can find a new purpose or passion in your life, at any age.
Rabbi Melinda Bracha Bernstein is a life coach and energy healer. She is a grief counselor, wedding officiant, and spiritual guide in southeast Florida, but she also offers phone/Skype sessions. Melinda’s ROADMAP to success helps others in several different ways, including moving forward through grief or a traumatic event. You can learn more about Rabbi Bernstein’s many services on her website.
What do you think of the ROADMAP? How can it help you in your own journey? What elements of the ROADMAP do you use already?