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One of the hardest things to do when you’ve lost everything is to pick yourself up and start again. I know, I’ve been doing it my whole life.

I was raised in a place that got the snot kicked out of it every 7 years or so. (Ah, the joys of island life.) I learned how devastating the loss can be, how to deal with it and move on, but most importantly, I learned to use the pain and the loss to propel me forward. Those of you who follow me know that I have a motto (I have a few but this one resonates best lately).

“We are all wounded. We are all human. It’s what you do with the scar tissue that matters.”

Don’t get me wrong — starting over is hard. I get it. So many of you are having to pick up the pieces now. Between COVID19, fires, politics, storms and hurricanes, we’re all taking one hell of a beating.

But here’s the thing…. it will get better. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but it will. You can do it. I have faith in you.

I am not a Pollyanna, I know exactly how much blood, sweat and tears it takes to start again. Sometimes it’s the hardest thing you’ll ever do. The secret, though, is not to do it alone. Don’t shut out offers to help, if you’re so overwhelmed you can’t think beyond concentrating on standing up, say something. There are hands waiting to support you, arms waiting to hug you, shoulders waiting to let you cry on them.

This is a time challenging to all of us. We’re reeling from all the hits our soul has taken lately. Some of us have become numb because we just can’t cope with another trauma.

The first step to starting over is acknowledging you lost something and you need to do it in the first place. Everything is NOT fine. Your world is upside down and reaching out does not make you weak or wimpy. Have yourself a damned good cry; the ugly kind. Let it all out. Then, once the tears stop, stand up, take a deep breath and look around. What needs to be done? Make a list.

Starting Over Tips:

  1. Take an honest look. What’s going on inside you? Are you okay? Can you function? Who can you lean on?
  2. Ask for help.  Do you need help to evaluate your loss? Do you need support to revisit the scene of the loss? Do you have shelter? Do you have access to food? Basic hygiene needs? Do you need support figuring out what to do next?
  3. Do what is next to do till there isn’t a next thing to do.  Sometimes looking too far forward is overwhelming. Focus on what needs to be done right this minute. Make a phone call, take a shower, sleep, eat, whatever there is to do. Keep it simple.
  4. Disconnect your Oughta Pilots. They will be legion! All the shoulds and ought to’s will be beating at you trying to get through. Don’t believe them.
  5. Watch Your Mouth, Your Subconscious Is Listening. Be vigilant about self talk. You can motivate or destroy yourself with it. Your personal DJ is digging out all the old, scratchy records and playing them at the highest decibels it can. Your Neener Neener Machine is overheating. Unplug it and take a deep breath.

Above and beyond these – most MOST IMPORTANT!

6.  Be gentle with yourself. Bill and Ted said it decades ago and it’s still true – “Be excellent to yourselves”. You are beloved. You are strong. Take time you need to heal but know when it’s time to be in action.

And as always, if you want to talk to someone – get in touch.

 

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