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Breeshia Wade on Exploring Grief

What’s Fear of Loss Got to Do with It?

Do you ever go to bed at night feeling anxious about things you can’t control the next day, even if in the present moment you are safe, clothed, housed, and well? 

Perhaps you’re worried about not getting  a job done well, about being judged for your perceived lack of talent. Maybe you worry that your performance will somehow cost you your relationships–at work or at home–and your perceived incompetence will lead to a lack of paycheck, thus an inability to support your current lifestyle in the future. Or maybe you feel pressured because you feel like whatever you do, you can never be good enough.

These thoughts can be mentally, physically, and even spiritually draining.

 The idea of not having future access to something–a job, a car, respect, resources, income–or the same relationship to someone (e.g. your partner, your friends, your coworkers, etc) as you have right now can be terrifying. It can make you feel powerless and confused. Like you lack control. However, grief as fear of loss is not readily recognized, so it often goes unexplored.

The type of grief that’s tied to fear of loss is related to impermanence–the reality of change and transitions. You can never predict the future, and as the saying goes: “The only permanent thing in this world is change.”  As with most things, when humans can’t predict something, we try to control the circumstances around it, which breeds more dysfunction.

exploring grief

So, in order to address your fear of loss, you must lean into it. 

You must accept that things will change even if they are stable right now. 

Do you ever wonder what your life could be like if you started exploring your fear of loss, embracing the reality of impermanence and the unknown change it brings, instead of fearing and avoiding it?

What if you could channel that fear into becoming more resilient, more grateful, more authentic, and more courageous?

What if fear and grief could help you build the life you want to live?

Four Tips on How to Engage Fear of Loss

Most of the time, people worry about the devastating effects of loss without even realizing that their feelings stem from loss (e.g. the examples listed at the beginning of the article). As I mentioned, grief isn’t just about past loss–it is also connected to future loss. Fear of loss.

 But, instead of focusing on the spiral of the negative perception of loss, let’s try exploring your fear in a way that can benefit you and your future. Here are a few tips:

  • Start naming and recognizing your fears by writing them down. Whenever you feel fear, your mind is often clouded and disorganized. Hence, it blocks your ability to think clearly and calmly, causing unnecessary conflict.
  • Embrace your vulnerability–this is a form of strength. Most people hate showing their vulnerability because they’re afraid of being invalidated or judged by society. But, learning to accept that nobody is perfect and that all humans feel grief gives you more freedom than hiding behind a veil, pretending to be ok.
  • The result of every action and decision you make can either be positive or negative. Trust yourself to cope. You don’t need to change or control everything out there.  If you change your view of the concept of loss, moving through it will be less difficult. It’s time to practice seeing things differently. 
  • Ask for help and consultation. People have different views of loss and talking with someone who has experience supporting people through loss is crucial.

There are many ways grief impacts our lives once we become aware of the reality of impermanence. You just need to allow yourself to open your mind to endless possibilities and start working on your fear of loss.