“What could I have done differently,” “What did I miss,” and “Where did I go wrong,” “Could I have prevented this from happening,” are common questions in loss.
I asked each of the questions following my Gavin’s death, again after each of the two miscarriages, and yet again after I discovered my husband and my best friend having an affair.
Parent’s who lost a child during pregnancy…during youth…during adolescence or in adulthood–regardless of how the death occurred–often ask all of these questions.
Those who are diagnosed with disease or illness, especially those in the later states wonder if they could have prevented their physical conditions had they acted sooner…given more attention to their health, etc…
Spouses and partners who discover their partner has engaged in adultery…they, too, ask these questions.
Think about your loss(es) and the questions you’ve asked and chances are you will have thought or spoken two or more of these questions.
These questions are but limiting forms of coping, a way of looking in the rear-view mirror and wishing we could turn back time, of possibly washing away our guilt, our fear, and our shame.
The longer we hold on to these questions, the longer we remain bound to grief.
Not that grief is a bad thing. Grief and struggle are actually opportunities for personal and soul growth, for they challenge us to learn more about ourselves and to connect on a deeper level.
When you begin to ask the questions that will ultimately lead you to conflict and grief resolution, you are entering onto a healing path, bringing balance to your bereavement.
One common healing tool is that old adage “Be careful what you wish for.”
Most everything in life is a trade off. When you choose to add something new to your day, you must take time away from doing something else.
Changing the rear-view mirror would not guarantee some fairy tale outcome or a positive change.
“To change one’s past would be to also alter one’s future; which might likely look desirable only on paper and in fairy tales.”
It is through struggle that you grow and learn, about your place on earth, about your own spirituality, about who you are and what you ultimately wish to contribute during your time here.
If not the struggle you have, then maybe it would have been a different struggle, but a hurdle and a challenge, nonetheless.
Is it possible that paying close(r) attention and acting sooner could have produced a different result? Absolutely. Is it possible that you may have contributed to your loss? Sure.
The ultimate truth is, however, that no matter the circumstance you cannot go back and change what happened.
What you do have control over, Journeyer, is what you do about it now.
Finding a way to be okay in the face of your adversity and to accept your circumstances is how you release the binds that tie you to your suffering.
One of the ways you can make this positive shift is to use The Power of “What if” in a forward thinking lens, as a vessel to heal grief, to something new and good and full of high vibration, positive energy.
How can you put your past to work for you and your future in positive and fulfilling ways, Neighbor?