The Five Stages of Grief (commonly known as DABDA) are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.
As a nation, we collectively mourned the loss of innocent children and their teachers two weeks ago. Rumors of the Armageddon distracted us, holidays turned us upside down, family celebrations and arguments came to an end. We breathed in the inevitable loneliness that follows drama. We cried and hibernated and searched for our words. Yet we were temporarily relieved by the depression, recognizing it as a quiet place we’d been before…knowing that our pain was small compared to others. We gained perspective about what matters and how important it is to express love to one another. We became even more aware of our surroundings and of how beautiful children are.
As we head into 2013 with new promises, it’s important to note that we may be (subconsciously) trying to figure out how to step into Stage 5 of the grieving process: Acceptance. How do we accept recent events, the way our lives turned out, the wanting and not receiving? How do we not judge ourselves for not doing better, being better? How do we focus on the good instead of the bad?
We make a decision to be loving people. Every day. We decide to love ourselves even if we’re not sure how to do that just yet. We trust that a New Year brings opportunities that we never knew were possible. And in the words of my wise yoga teacher, we let go of what was so that we can be open to what will be.
“The deeper you love yourself,
the more the universe will affirm your worth.
Then you can enjoy a lifelong love affair
that brings you the richest fulfillment
from inside out.” ~Alan Cohen