A successfully completed grief enhances self-esteem
We can find many articles about how grief destroys our self-esteem, but hardly any how a successfully completed grief can enhance it. I find this is misleading and discouraging.
In terms of loss our self-esteem is affected in different ways. In case we have many unprocessed losses, which means we carry a very heavy baggage, we can be sure that our self-esteem isn’t optimal. Deep down, subconsciously we know that this exercise is unnecessary, still we keep doing it. Just the procrastination itself can shake our confidence. This is the pre-grief state that can last for weeks, months, years, decades or even a life-time.
Once we decide that we would like to put the burden down and finally let ourselves grieve to be able to live our life happier and more free then for a period of time we feel vulnerable. It is a very uncomfortable feeling, however this vulnerability is essential to open ourselves up emotionally and mentally. In that state we experience and process deep and intense emotions such as sadness, longing, despair, guilt and fear. Some people feel more comfortable to face with these emotions alone, others prefer to share this experience especially when they feel stuck with grief for a longer period of time. In both cases vulnerability is the key. The more open and honest we are, the more quickly we will recover. During the transition period, being somewhere in the middle of a dark tunnel, our self-esteem declines but only temporarily.
The rewarding part happens when we get to the end of the tunnel. It was a long and overwhelming journey for sure. We feel tormented in many ways but we reached the destination. Many of us just would like to leave the tunnel as quickly as possible but it’s worth for looking back for a last glance. Going through our grieving process required vulnerability but also certain characteristics.
HONESTY, OPENNESS, COURAGE, PERSEVERANCE, INTEGRITY, LOYALTY TO OURSELVES AND THE JOURNEY, HUMILITY, RESPONSIBILITY, COMPASSION, FORGIVENESS, AUTHENTICITY, OPTIMISM
We either had these characteristics before or we picked them up and integrated them to our personality during the journey. In any case, we became warriors, who can be very proud of himself/herself. Behind this pride there is real achievement. Experiencing our grief in full, knowing and understanding the journey, being loyal to it, it enhances our self-esteem without any doubt.
Last but not least, our grief is the proof that we are able to love.