Coping with the Fear of Loss

There are few emotions that hold as much power as love. When thinking about our loved ones, it can be painful to imagine the idea of losing them someday. This is a normal experience, as it’s impossible to feel that deep love without also feeling sadness that time together is limited. This sadness can be uncomfortable, but it can also keep us focused on those who mean the most to us.  Here are a few ways to cope with the fear of loss:

  • Radical Acceptance– No one wants to experience pain or suffering, so naturally we will avoid situations and emotions that make us uncomfortable.However, denying or avoiding reality (aka wishing things were different) createseven more of a struggle for us. Radical acceptance meansacknowledging the truth of the situation. It doesn’tmean we have tofeel good about this reality, but rather it’s a surrender to the fact thatthis aspect of life is out of our control. Radical acceptance of any situation makes us more equipped to handle it. To put this idea into practice, try repeating to yourself,“This is happening, and I can handle it”.
  • Mindfulness – Mindfulness refers to having awareness of the present moment without judgment. When we’re experiencing fear, we’re often caught up in the “what ifs” of the future. Mindfulness can help to bring us back to the “right now,” and work through these thoughts by becoming more aware of our patterns. Then, we can work toward shifting to healthier ways of thinking. One of the most common ways to practice mindfulness is through meditation, though it can be practiced during any activity.
  • Independence–The fear of loss can stem from the idea that we wouldn’t be able to live without those we love. Though it’s true that loss can uproot our current lives, creating much difficulty and suffering, the reality is that life always continues to move forward. You will survive. To encourage self-sufficiency, work to build your independence. Take steps towards being able to support yourself in ways that make sense for you.

We may not be able to control certain aspects of the human experience likeloss, but we can control our perspectives. The reality of loss shows us how crucial it is to make the most of the time with our loved ones. It’s up to usto decidehow we’d like to spend that time.

“To think that my family cannot manage without me is ego; love is to empower my family to be without me.” – BK Shivani

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