What Can We Do to Bring Joy to the Journey?

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This is the fourth article written for the Open To Hope foundation and online community based on concepts, research and experiences shared in, LOVE NEVER DIES, by Elizabeth Horwin.

WHAT CAN WE DO?

 The first article in this series focused on the concept of What is Life, the second on the concept of What is Death and the third on What are our Beliefs. This last article focuses on what can we do going forward in our lives to resonate with the vibrations of love and peace, to have joyful experiences during our journey on planet earth.

During our experiences in this life CHANGE is the one thing that is constant. It doesn’t matter how much we may want to resist change, in the end we have no control over life’s changes. The only control we have is how we respond to what happens in our lives moment by moment, day by day. As day turns to night and night turns to day with total predictability, so it is with our life, we can totally predict that as change occurs we will move through cycles of loss and grief and cycles of gain and hope in every aspect, every part of our life whether in relationships, work, health, etc. throughout our entire life. This article is focused on how to deal with the reality of change and offers some ideas on how to cope in both the good and difficult times.

What do we need to understand about change, about the cycles of life?

  • There is only one reality and that is the present moment. Focusing on the past may cause us to experience depression and regrets and focusing on the future may cause us to experience anxiety and fear.
  • Every loss requires a mourning process which is a feeling process. The intensity of the emotions we experience in mourning a loss are directly related to the significance of that loss.
  • Every loss requires a healing process which is an action process. Completing both the mourning and healing process is essential to living with loss.
  • Celebrating life and its rituals are essential to living a balanced life.
  • We need to understand our responsibility regarding our responses to life changes.

To begin understanding the process of change requires educating ourselves about the mourning and healing process, our participation and ability to become empowered because of those processes. Consider pondering the following five ideas and decide what, if any, makes sense to you. 

FOCUS ON THE PRESENT MOMENT

  • The Present Moment is our only reality. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow hasn’t happened and focusing on either can cause pain, suffering and disappointment.
  • Plan like you will Live forever. Live like you will Die immediately. There is only the Present Moment, the Now.
  • Living in the Present Moment is a portal through which we can find Peace and Joy that leads to the expansion of our Consciousness and our Awareness, knowing Our Truth. 

 

STAGES OF LOSS—THE MOURNING PROCESS

  • Knowing the stages of loss/grief helps us to understand what we will go through and need to go through to heal. The process begins with shock and denial, then bargaining, withdrawal, sadness, isolation, guilt, anger, shame, relief. Not all emotions are experienced with every loss and the order these emotions are experienced differs from one person to the other. This process ends with acceptance, with being able to live with the loss.
  • If we are willing to think about loss and accept it as part of life, everything changes because our relationships change. It is called Unconditional Love.
  • Our culture has a difficult time with Mourning, with Grieving and that is unfortunate. If you don’t heal a loss, the next loss that you experience brings back the previous loss even stronger.

HEALING

  • There are many ways that we can heal from any loss, but we cannot even start the process unless we have the courage to go through the stages of loss, the feeling and grieving processes.
  • We heal from losses by Responding to what happened, not Reacting. The difference is:  Response is acting, Reaction is Acting Out. Responding requires Action and Action leads to healing.
  • You will know if you are Responding or Reacting by how you feel. If you are feeling Peace, you are Responding; if you are feeling stuck, you are Reacting. 

CELEBRATING LIFE & RITUALS

  • Celebrate Life and the Joy it brings anytime you can. Laughter, fun, enjoyment should be part of each day.
  • Striving for Balance is essential to having a wonderful life. Balance in every area and aspect of our lives—-Physically, Spiritually, Mentally, Emotionally, Psychologically, Socially, etc.
  • Rituals are a form of celebration that exist in all cultures and religions. There are rituals for everything and anything that is part of existence on this planet. Rituals serve as the string that connects and unites individuals, families, communities and nations. Create rituals that give you comfort and help you stay connected to those your love.

HOW TO AVOID CREATING NEGATIVE KARMA

  • For every Choice, there is a Consequence, for every Action there is a Reaction, for every Cause there is an Effect.
  • To Avoid Creating Negative Karma: Be impeccable with your word—honesty; No violence or abuse ever; Never take advantage of someone lesser than you; and, Follow the rules of your society and culture as you understand and accept them.
  • The way to handle negativity is to counteract it with the opposite polarity—positiveness. To remain positive, loving and kind no matter what anyone has done to you is a lofty ideal worth aspiring to. Just trying to do this is enough.

CONCLUSION

Life is difficult. It certainly appears to be when we look at the madness existing in the human race, but it doesn’t have to be. How can this consciousness of life, being difficult, change and shift? Begin everyday with Thank You. Stay alert and aware of every blessing occurring moment by moment in your life on this planet. Don’t Judge or have any Expectations—Just Do Your Best. Say Thank You to the beauty of the flower, the birth of a new day, the smile in a child’s eyes, the hug a friend gives you. The power of gratitude is intention. Hopefully our intention is to send Love, Healing and Peace to our fellow humans participating in this journey, this time on planet earth with us.

In our earthly experience, there is HOPE, LOVE and PEACE if each one of us decides that we can be a light, a candle in the darkness. Only we can change ourselves, our perceptions and our beliefs.

LOVE & PEACE—-NAMASTE 

Elizabeth Horwin is a Licensed Professional Counselor offering workshops, seminars and retreats to individuals, organizations and employers assisting them in dealing with and healing from life’s losses.

The book, “Love Never Dies” may be purchased at a discounted rate through Elizabeth’s websitewww.elizabethhorwin.com The kindle version may also be purchased on a link through the website.

Elizabeth Horwin

More Articles Written by Elizabeth

Elizabeth attended Holy Family University and graduated from the University of Scranton where she obtained her Bachelors and Master of Science degrees. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and for over twenty-five years, she has held National Certifications as a Rehabilitation Counselor, Case Manager and Disability Management Specialist. As a counselor, educator, trainer and consultant, she has been named in Who’s Who Among American Women; is recognized as a national speaker and seminar leader; has participated in radio talk shows; served on various boards of directors and for her professional association, National Association of Rehabilitation Professionals, as President of the Pennsylvania chapter; was awarded the 2015 Professional Service Award from The Compassionate Friends, a national organization supporting families by providing friendship, understanding, and hope after a child dies; published in professional journals; assisted in the publication of a landmark five volume study on adult learning disabilities; and, recently served a five year term as Commissioner on the National Certification for Disability Management Specialists Board. Elizabeth’s recently published book, ”LOVE NEVER DIES”, provides unique insights in understanding birth, death and loss in life and in relationships. It teaches the individual how to understand and live through the stages of loss; begin and complete the healing process; and raise consciousness and awareness to the shift and impact in the way you now relate to life. Her address is: 180 Providence Lane, Lansdale, PA 19446 Phone number: 215-412-9043 Her web site is: www.elizabethhorwin.com

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