The Stages of Grief

Anger

Denial

Bargaining

Depression

Acceptance

Elizabeth kubler-Ross developed a theory about grief and grieving, she applied this theory with patients who were terminal ill. However, Kubler-Ross model can be applied when you experience any kind of loss. I have used this to help me work through my diagnosis of Graves’ disease. I was devastated when I was diagnosed, initially, I thought I’d made myself ill, I didn’t know much about the disease. I was given a diagnosis, given pills and sent on my way.

I’m not quite at the acceptance stage yet and I bounce about between stages. This is a normal part of the grieving process.

I feel angry, at the disease at myself, frustrated I can’t do too much because I’ll be exhausted the next day, I cry and think why the fucking hell. Then I skip to denial I think no I’m totally ok when I’m not.

If you suffer from illness and the person you used to be has changed, you grieve for them, for you. When the negative voice is overwhelming praising yourself for the simple things goes along way to helping shut down the anxiety beast.  It helps lift your mood

This year has been hard, as I wrote in Shards of glass.

I have a big interest in the tarot and podcasts, I listen to Lindsey Mack, Tarot for the wild soul she teaches tarot and she uses her analysis to cover many topics and to heal her trauma. In one of her podcasts she discusses this Process of letting go and grieving for yourself.

She chose the hangman card, this card is illustrated by a man hanging upside down by one foot from a tree. According to Buddy Tarot it is a card of surrender, letting go. The Hang man, is asking you to view the world from a different perspective, turn things upside down. Release, change your thoughts that no longer serve you.

Another perspective for the hangman tarot card encompasses for me, releasing a person or facing and working on our shadow self which is rooted in our ego.

The journey or the full experience of ego death is death and can be used to interpret feelings of letting go, processing through letting go of yourself and at the end you have awareness. For me, I’ve haven’t felt truly peaceful for a long time.

However I have been fighting against myself. I do this, it’s either my ego, not arrogance but the ID which ultimately wants to protect us.. However this stops us from listening to our inner compass.

I digress, it’s been hard to process, clearing through and accepting. In my case, an illness. It’s a big change, one I really can’t control, it’s also completing a cycle and a change.

We all like to move, to get on, have action. However sometimes the inaction is the way, that is scary and when we want to cry out in frustration. I find enforces change very hard to work through. I think it’s because a-lot has been enforced on me from a young age.

I learnt to take back power. It worked at the time, but that’s ok. I’m also learning their are other ways too.

According to Gabriel Bernstein, in The Universe Has Your Back, you can choose fear or love. When I first read this I thought this is so simple. How does that work?

For me they are polar opposites. Fear is so hard, it’s so fucking hard to step forward and embrace it. However I’ve also learnt if fear is not resolved, it can lead to anger. Eventually staying in our body and if it isn’t resolved can lead to dis-ease.

I’ve been there, but more from a deep hurt, than anger asking why?

As I read further, Bernstein raises a very succulent point. How can you choose these polar opposites if your life is in chaos, extreme poverty, or war or emotional hardship. All valid questions.

For example, yes I have roof over my head, and I have food on my table, but I struggle, I’ve had to fight (interesting language because we don’t always have to fight, we can surrender) my body can’t take much more.

Everyone’s battle, or demons are individual to them. Bernstein goes into state examples of perseverance for example Elie Wiesel a holocaust survivor who became a amazing voice, writing about his experience. For me, Nelson Mandela channelled his experiences to help free others and South Africa. Many activists, writers, healers, use their own situation and choose to work through it, persevere to help others from a loving place. She states fear would lead to destructiveness and death.

“Fear turns to hate, hate turns to anger and anger turn to the dark side” Yoda

This chapter really really hit home for me. Even more so when I really got the 💡 moment.

I don’t want to swim in muddy waters. Yes, I have more work to, we are always learning and growing.

I do want to rise up and work through the stages listed above and come to a place of acceptance. I am however inspired by these stories which, illustrate how darkness can be turned into light. Anger to forgiveness.

On the other side of this I also think it’s important to reflect upon what you have achieved too, and acknowledge how strong you are.

The following Bernstein (2016) Lesson 21 of A course in miracles, I am responsible for what I see” really hit home and I started to think how I view situations because it’s pertinent to me.

This lesson reinforces the idea that our projection is our perception… the course emphasises that what we perceive is based solely on our interpretations. For instance… we can perceive a negative health diagnosis with complete terror or a chance to slow down and truly start embracing each moment with gratitude. No matter how dire the circumstances, we can choose to perceive with love or with fear Gabriel Bernstein

She goes onto state that we won’t and may not want to make radical changes or be able to. We may not want to lead a movement and change the world but we can choose to shift our perception in our daily lives and go with love. In my opinion these choices are still radical because our changes ripple outwards to other people around us.

We can choose to feel grateful for our loving children, family, career or whatever you have in your life. We can choose to learn, look inwards, and feel grateful for lessons, our community, however that may transpire.

You can choose to change your mindset, move more slowly, acknowledge that change. To trust and and it’s a chance to learn. To slow down, listen, change direction.

We can choose to practice gratitude and be thankful. We can choose to make small changes and shifts in our life. These are part of the journey towards acceptance.

Equally we can choose to ignore it too.

If you suffer from illness and the person you used to be has changed, you grieve for them. When the negative voice is overwhelming praising yourself for the simple things is a step forward and helps shut down the anxiety beast.  It helps lift your mood

For the last 17 years I’ve raised my son alone, I’ve had stress and loss with his father. He didn’t want to be involved, I’ve studied, broken down, worked, studied, relationships, blocked out from relationships, studied, stood up for myself in court.

I’m exhausted reading it.

I’ve not stopped, now I have no choice but to stop i was driven and my son drove me. However I never really praised myself though.

Now I am healing my physical illness through lots of inner work, it’s a minute by minute thing at times.

I have accepted that this is me now and I can’t be the person I was before. I accept that there is a blessing in this, I’ve been guided to different choices and it’s awakened many different areas of my life.

It isn’t an easy process it takes work, lots of work. However the benefits are amazing believe me. I’m still learning but I know their will be an older version looking back in immense pride.

Keep pushing on, moving forward. 💖

JP x

Published by Janine Petty

Hi I’m Janine I make hand poured soy wax candles, I’m a reiki healer, vibe queen, card reader and all round spiritual entrepreneur. Graves disease fighter, depression and anxiety sufferer.

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