Episode 28: When you feel stuck
You are listening to the Life Reconstructed podcast with me, Teresa Amaral Beshwate, grief expert, best-selling author and widow. I’m so glad you’re here because in this and every episode, I shine a light on the widowed way forward.
Hello and welcome to episode 28. In this episode, we take a close look at feeling stuck, and I share an important mindset that will help you start moving forward.
If you feel stuck in your grief, this episode is for you. You probably say to yourself, “By now, I should be better, I should be working out and eating healthy, or I should have found my purpose, or I should be doing better at work.”
And the people who care about you probably agree – they probably think that you should be better by now.
So it becomes very easy to decide that you’re failing at grief.
This can certainly happen in the first 12 months, but I find it to be even more common in the second 12 months and beyond. That’s when our inner critic shows up.
And yet there is no one right way to grieve. There is no one handing out grades. There are no grief police to ticket you. The people who care about you simply don’t understand, and good for them.
And with that said, let’s look at what happens when you’re not where you truly want to be. If you’re not where you want to be in your grief journey, you decide that you’re stuck, and you then feel helpless, which puts you into a spin cycle. And you end up gathering even more evidence that you’re stuck.
It’s incredibly easy to judge your journey. But there is no upside.
Judgement and curiosity are a bit like a teeter totter. They have an inverse relationship. When one is high, the other is low. So, when you’re judging your journey, it’s impossible to be learning.
And grieving is learning.
You’ve been through the unthinkable. Truly the most catastrophic chapter of your life, and likely the most difficult times you’ve ever had to navigate. Give yourself credit for how hard this is.
Yes, your brain might offer thoughts like, “I’m stuck, I’m failing at this.” But what if, instead, you decided that you’re learning?
You’re learning how to navigate this life that you didn’t sign up for. You’re learning this new version of yourself. You’re learning how your brain functions differently now. You’re learning that not all your thoughts are true, useful or kind. You’re learning that you can think other thoughts, on purpose, that serve you better. You’re learning that self-judgement doesn’t get you anywhere. And that curiosity and love are what move you forward.
Life after the loss of your spouse is neither a sprint nor a marathon. It has no finish line. It’s more like lifting weights. You’re never “done,” but you do become stronger. You learn proper form, you gradually increase your weights, and your capacity to lift heavy things improves over time.
Grief is a journey, and a difficult one. But it doesn’t have to be one ounce heavier than it already is. Love yourself. Choose to set down the judgement and be curious instead. That’s my wish for you.
If this episode was helpful, please rate and review it so more widowed people will find it. And remember that I believe in you, and I’m here for you. Take care.
If you’ve found this podcast helpful, I invite you to join Life Reconstructed, my coaching program exclusively for widowed people. It will help you step forward toward a life you will love again. Simply go to thesuddenwidowcoach.com and click work with me.