By Dr. TED WIARD
Golden Willow Retreat
This last week has constantly flooded us with enormous stressors that have potential for anxiety as many of the environmental stressors are atmospherically sitting in the unknown.
The pandemic, the elections and their outcomes, finances, school, and an unknown feeling of where to take action to change the internal and external discomfort.
As time moves forward many of these environmental stressors will be become clear and people will be able to move out of levels of ambiguity due to having information.
Lack of information increases fear, as there is more clarification, the brain can start to categorize, analyze, and choose action or non-action to help decrease internal stress.
For many, the political outcomes will be celebratory and there will be an ease from the historical status quo leading to hope for the future. There also will be many people who will be disappointed with the outcomes and possibly cause new stressors for the present and future.
There also is another group of people who will be neutral on political outcomes. No matter what someone’s opinion is, there is a grief process that happens as loss, as anytime there is change, as the old norm is gone and grief is the process in which a new norm is being established.
The grief process allows someone to disconnect from the past and start to move into the present. This is the process of chipping away at denial in which there is a higher and higher level of recognition that the historical way is no longer what is happening in the present. This usually has some level of protest or resistance to have to change, as this resistance becomes futile and other efforts of trying to hold onto the past ways are exhausted, there is a level of situational depression in which a level of fighting for the past is no longer serving or even worthwhile, and a certain level of surrendering to the fact that the old way has died.
As this surrender happens acknowledgement that the historical way has changed and there is a change process to develop a new norm is being established. This is the acceptance phase. Acceptance does not mean someone agrees with the present situation but acknowledges the fact that here has been a change. Once this has been established in someone’s psyche, wisdom and passion can be gleaned from the past to help develop the present and build towards the future.
No matter what someone’s beliefs are within the outcome from the election, there is change and being open to gleaning wisdom and knowledge to decrease fear from the unknown, decrease isolation, and increase bridges to work together building a strong foundation based on what is presently the reality. Knowing what is the present truth can help with priorities, working together, and building a future consciously rather than polluted by resentments, mistrust, and resistance to release the old norm.
Moving out of the past and acknowledging the present, helps decrease being overwhelmed by the future while standing on a strong foundation today for healthy and mindful action. That is the natural process of healing from loss through grief. I wish you well, and until the next time, take care.
Golden Willow Retreat is a nonprofit organization focused on emotional healing and recovery from any type of loss. Direct any questions to Dr. Ted Wiard, EdD, LPCC, CGC, Founder of Golden Willow Retreat GWR@newmex.com or call at 575.776.2024. Los Alamos virtual grief support group is offered, at no charge, please check it out at www.goldenwillowretreat.org.