Grief Can Cause Loss of Confidence; Spring Can Help it Rebound

All of us have it. But we can lose it temporarily. Yet, all of us have the power to find it again too.

Confidence is the extra battery pack that fuels our inner spirit. It propels us to greater achievements and encourages us to walk through doors that we might otherwise avoid.

We all need that extra boost when life challenges us. Walking in for our first job interview, we needed to make a good impression. Confidence gave us an edge. This positive inner force helped us to stand a little taller and to feel a little stronger.

“Confidence comes naturally when your inner life and your outer life are in harmony.” (Unknown)

But just as we can feel its power, so can we feel its erosion. Waxing and waning like moon, our spirit changes with the phases of our self assurance. Loss can eat away at our confidence like a wood chipper devouring a mighty oak. Once strong and tall, it is reduced to a pile of small helpless pieces.

This troublesome force can come from the temporary decline of ability or status, or through the loss of a job. Its source may be the deterioration of a relationship or from the death of a loved one. All create voids and those open spaces tug at our security. Like a sand castle, our confidence is delicate, unique, and admired by others. But one wave of tragedy can surprise us and in an instant wash away all of our hard work. With the outgoing tide goes its grains and leaves us without its energy.

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s confidence.” (Unknown)

Grief’s grip can diminish us. It makes us feel smaller and more vulnerable. It is an uncomfortable sensation and casts a shadow on our self-worth.

Right after I was widowed, my confidence took a big drop. I was unsure of myself, and I did not know if I was ever going to be able to make a rational decision ever again. Life was overwhelming, and I just wanted to retreat like a turtle into a shell for protection. The gauge on my confidence meter was on empty. For many days, I hid my swollen eyes behind my large sunglasses. My voice was weak and my steps were tentative.

Then came Spring. The earth was warming up and through the gift of time and patience, my spirit started to come alive again. As the bulbs poked through the cold, damp soil, I started to feel myself heal a little.

While I was processing my loss, I observed the wondrous cycles of nature and God’s magic. Once hard, frozen and snow-covered, I could now smell the loose, rich dirt of my flowerbeds and small purple crocuses greeted me with their delicate blossoms. The bright yellow daffodils laughed in my face and the trees lost their sharp bare outlines with the appearance of soft puffs of tiny petals. Out of the dormant winter came another chance at life with all of its vibrant color and beauty.

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.” (Robert Frost)

It was time for me to awaken from my bleak season of grief and to move forward and to live fully again. Through the help of family and friends, I was able to work through my pain and slowly my true inner self returned. I felt the invisible piles of my confidence rising and lifting me back up to be strong and tall.

“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.” (Marie Curie)

Spring is a wonderful time of year. It reinvigorates us and gives us a sense of hope. It makes me feel particularly strong. But I am not foolish enough to think that I will never lose my confidence again. Most likely, there will be another storm and once again I will watch my confidence crash on a rocky shore. But I have lost it before and I found it: so I know that I can do it again and so can you.

Treat yourself to a big spring bouquet of flowers and celebrate the energy of the season. Examine the individual blossoms and notice their beauty and intense colors. Remember, they were once small, dull bulbs buried in the dark earth. Get close enough to smell their fragrance and the sweetness of life. It is a season to break out and to be your best. You deserve nothing less!

Happy Spring!

 

Kim Meredith 2012

 

 

Kim Meredith

Kim Meredith

More Articles Written by Kim

Kim's life changed dramatically in February 1993, when she became a widow at the age of 40 and a single parent to a 10-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter. Her husband of 15 years, David, died after surviving 2 weeks as a quadriplegic as a result of a car accident. Feeling alone, afraid, and confused, Kim journalled at night in an attempt to give order once again to her shattered life while teaching high school Spanish during the day. As the months went by she readjusted her life's frequency and began to trust in her inner voice, her "whispers." After 10 years of writing, her first book, Listen for the Whispers: Coping with Grief and Learning to Live Again, was published by Cable Publishing in July 2010. While a tribute to her family's journey from unfathomable heartache to a life once again filled with love and laughter, this inspiring story is for everyone who has experienced the loss of someone beloved to them. Currently, Kim lives in Lancaster, PA, with her new husband Tom. She continues to teach and fills her free time with writing, speaking, and enjoying her 2 new grandchildren. Her story, A True Treasure, about her first grandson, Max, appeared in the 2010 Barnes and Noble special edition, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Tales of Christmas. She has another story, My Man Harry, which will appear in Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Dog's Life in 2011.

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