Losing Ourselves plus an Interview
Wednesday, January 13th, 2016
Over the holiday, I had the opportunity to talk via Zoom with a lovely woman from New Zealand. Her name is Lisa Taylor and she just published a book entitled Beyond Betrayal. Here is a link to the video. She asked me to discuss denial and shock which is what all of us encounter shortly after disclosure or discovery and continue to cycle through as we grieve. Would love for you to check out our conversation.
I think more than anything, what I took away from our conversation was this:
Denial and Shock are normal, natural and okay to embrace. I love what Melody Beattie says about them – “denial isn’t lying…it’s the shock absorber for your soul.” The denial and shock gives our brains and our bodies time to adjust to the terrifying reality that we are faced with. This time allows us a space to latch on to coping mechanisms that we’ve used in the past or quite possibly are using for the first time. Remember, shock and denial are good things.
However, think of denial and shock as a double edged sword. If we get stuck in this stage of grieving – it can be costly. And the thing is, getting stuck in the grieving process is easy to do. This is not a linear process. It’s a messy crazy process. And I don’t know about you, but I was SO afraid of messing up the messy process. Well, guess what – messy means imperfect. I’ve yet to meet the woman who did this process perfectly so take a deep breath and embrace the imperfection.
So back to getting stuck in denial – I think one of the biggest costs for us if we get stuck in denial or shock is this Loss Of Self.
Here is why: when we stay in denial for too long, we have to divorce ourselves from our reality in order to keep doing life. There is an unhealthy detachment that must occur. And there are women out there that have lived in this state for months (as I did) and there are women out there that have lived in this state for years (as I so easily could have). Know that there is a lot of fear and survival wrapped up in getting stuck and it can cause a paralysis.
For those of you that resonate with feeling stuck, my prayer is that the time will come when you realize you’ve had enough. Your heart is broken (for me, I couldn’t stand the bitterness and resentment I felt toward Jason) and you need help. Now. It’s a sweet surrender. To give up control of the outcome of your marriage and to stand up for yourself and ask for what you need.
It’s through surrendering our outcome to God and letting others into our pain that we start to find ourselves again.
Both the sweet surrender and letting others in are key.
And it’s never too late. Whether you are 22 or 102 – it’s never too late to cling to Jesus and share your pain with someone you trust.
Can any of you relate to this loss of self or the struggle to surrender to God and let others in? What helped you move forward in your process? Would love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to post a comment below.
ps. Lisa will post part 2 of our conversation on Friday.