One way to successfully travel the road of grief towards renewal is to afford yourself an appropriate amount of time for introspective thought. Richard Bach suggests asking yourself questions. He says, “The simplest questions are the most profound. Where were you born? Where is your home? Where are you going? What are you doing? Think about these once in a while and watch your answers change.”

Let’s look at each of these questions from two perspectives as I illustrate how you can answer them simply or delve for a deeper meaning.

Where Were You Born?

Taken at face value, this question simply asks for the physical location of your birth.

Consider taking it one step deeper.

Aren’t you constantly being reborn as you move through new circumstances in your life? With increased introspective thought, you can come to know yourself in more depth and with more clarity. After experiencing loss, your soul is laid bare. As you rebuild, you can be whomever you wish. It is a rebirth  — a true do-over.

Where Is Your Home?

Taken at face value, this question simply asks for the place where you live.

Consider taking it one step deeper …

Where is your true home? Is it a physical place or a state of mind? Is it with your blood relatives or with your family of friends? Is it the place where people truly understand you and the circumstances of your life? Is it a place where you feel you can breathe?  Is home simply the place where you can be the true you? Take some time to decide on your definition of home.

Where Are You Going?

Taken at face value, this question simply asks for the physical location of where you are going, for example, the store, on a trip, to work, etc.

Consider taking it one step deeper …

This question could also be asking the following. “Are you lost in your life with no idea on how to move forward from the place where you find yourself?” “Do you even know where you want to go?” “Are you afraid to leave the place where you are because you think that would mean leaving behind a lost loved one?” Think about where you want to go and then take the appropriate actions to get there. You don’t have to decide on the final destination. Pick a small and attainable goal and when you accomplish it, pick a new one to work towards.

What Are You Doing?

Taken at face value, this question simply asks you to share in what activities you are partaking; what tasks you are completing at work; what you are doing in your leisure time, etc.

Consider taking it one step deeper …

This question can also be a wake-up call, depending on which word you accent. Listen to how the meaning changes when you ask the same question in different ways.

WHAT are you doing?  What are YOU doing? What are you DOING?

When “what” and “doing” are emphasized, the message is one of disdain towards or disbelief in the person’s actions. When the “you” is emphasized, the message is one of true interest in what the other person is accomplishing. Your tone is a powerful instrument; use it carefully.

Additionally, this question can also ask, “What are you doing with your life?” “What are you doing to make yourself feel better?” or “Are you living in denial?” You may be at the stage where rather than doing, you are just being. Take that time to decide what you would like to do when you are ready to move forward.

As Richard Bach suggests, ask yourself these questions often as you move through various stages in your life. As a work-in-progress, and, if you are taking positive steps forward (even if they are baby steps), then your answers will constantly fluctuate. If you find that your answers to these questions are forever constant, you might want to consider that you could be stuck in your emotions and ask for a helping hand.

This is an excerpt from Ellen Gerst’s upcoming book, Suddenly Single, which is a guide for those of the baby boomer generation who find themselves single due to loss of a mate from death or divorce. You can read the Preface and Introduction at Connect with Ellen on Facebook at Finding Love After Loss ( and Thin Threads of Grief and Renewal (

Ellen Gerst

Ellen Gerst is a Life Coach who specializes in grief and relationships, an author, and speaker. Widowed young at the age of 39, she writes from a “been there/done that” perspective. Losing her husband to suicide after 20 years of marriage set her on a path to finding her true self and the inner strength she possessed. She shares both her journey and her perspective on how to move gracefully and successfully through the grief journey. She is the author of “Suddenly Single," which is a compendium of articles covering the practical, emotional and spiritual aspects of the grief journey. She went on to capture the continuation of her story in the sequel to "Suddenly Single," aptly named: “Love After Loss: Writing The Rest of Your Story.” “Love After Loss” is a blueprint on how one can find new love after the loss of a partner from death, divorce, or break-up. It includes coaching exercises; how to Internet date; and how to have a healthy and successful relationship – all intertwined with true life dating tips and stories. Ellen has penned many other books on coping with grief, as well as others on such subjects as dating and relationships, caregiving for aging parents, spirituality, confidence building, the power of positive thought, suicide awareness, teen pregnancy prevention, fitness and weight loss, and social media and networking. She is also the co-editor of an anthology of real life changing stories, “Thin Threads of Grief & Renewal.” The stories tell of untold grief and how each author found personal renewal after his/her great loss. It is an inspirational volume for those mourning any sort of loss. To listen to Ellen's radio show: Click Here Visit Ellen on her website at where she has various free downloads on coping with grief and finding love after loss. Join Ellen on Facebook for every day tips on finding love after loss and coping with grief. Finding Love After Loss Words of Comfort To Pave Your Journey Of Loss

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