Oh Good Grief: Grief Is Normal

“Oh, Good Grief” was a famous catchphrase of the cartoon character Charlie Brown. It is usually said as a result of a life situation that just didn’t work out the way it was supposed to. Life is like that. Remembering that things always work out in the end and, of course, working out may not be exactly what you thought it would be. In fact, things working out could just be your worst nightmare.

In the grand scheme of things, we are born, we live, and then we die. Just a reminder today’s subject is  grief. If we start with, and accept the basics of being born, living and then dying as being the only sure things in life, it becomes impossible to become disappointed.

Disappointment occurs at the point in which we have an expectation of a thing happening and then it doesn’t. Take the expectation of believing in one true love of your life. Then discovering that your one true love has been sleeping with the entire volleyball team, stealing from your bank account, is gay or just hates your guts are just some of the possible behaviours your true love may engage in.

It is impossible to truly know what the outcome of any event will be with total certainty. The issue is that we have expectations, internal images or ideas as to how things could be should be, then, of course, must be. When the physical reality doesn’t match the internal images that we have previously created, we then experience this as frustration.

Grief, on the other hand, is the point at which we are reaching for something that is no longer there. There will be times of the day when things would happen, but who you would do them with has gone. Grief is the natural process of rebuilding neural connections. Another way of thinking about this is that it is the process of unlearning. NLP is a great tool for dealing with the whole subject because it accelerates learning and in this case, unlearning.

Grief can be experienced by anyone at any time. It may be the unlearning of being a mother after the children have left the nest. Or unlearning that you no longer have the title position or power that you once had. In a clinical situation, grief can be presented in many forms. Women who have used their sexuality to open doors go through terrible grief at the point at which men no longer turn to look. Often grief is associated with the death of a loved one, though it could be virtually anything.

Personally, I grieve every morning at the loss of my lovely warm bed. Grief is normal.

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