grieving even when things are improving

earlier this week i was coaching and stumbled on a simple, but juicy insight: grief can be present even if you’re going from one thing to an even better thing.

even when going from a good circumstance to a great circumstance, there still can be loss. as martín prechtel says in the smell of rain on dust, “grief is what living beings experience when what or whom they love dies or disappears.” grief is the ball of feelings that emerges when you love something and then that thing goes away (by your choice or not) and then that love has nowhere to land.

it can be surprising that when things are getting better that grief is still present but it absolutely can be. because the good thing is still being lost. some examples that came to mind during the coaching session when this insight arose:

in each of those settings, things are definitely getting better. and yet, the former situation still is being lost. and that loss wants to be honored. even though you may be excited to start an exciting new job, all of the things that you loved about your old job still need to be mourned. all the friends, the growth, the accomplishments, and more. it all needs to be honored and released in order to make space for what’s next.

without honoring that loss, it’s possible that the great thing coming your way may feel less great. grief, when not given space, can weigh us down and keep us stuck in ways we hadn’t imagined. it can keep us holding on to what’s no longer present, conscious or unconsciously.

so yes, even when things are improving, you may need to grieve. take the time. it’s worth it!

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