“Not In A Good Place” Because of Loss

Q. I am not in a good place. I have had just too many losses. Could you please help me?

A. Let’s Talk! One loss often connects with other unresolved losses we have and they do multiply in our hearts and heads. Any loss is important to process, whether it is a dog’s death, a divorce, a lost dream, loss of health, loss of career, or the death of someone important to you. Loss hurts so much, though there is comfort ahead. Let’s talk about recovery from loss.

A huge beginning of recovery is to not minimize the loss. Thankfully, no one has said to me, “Millie was just a dog,” as I am still blubbering from her death two weeks ago. Thankfully also, no one has said “time will heal,” which is a myth. If one processes the grief OVER time, healing takes place; but time doesn’t take care of grief singlehandedly. A great example of that truth is from the Grief Recovery Handbook by John W. James and Russell Friedman. They explain that if an automobile tire goes flat, it will still be flat in two years. But, if some measure of treatment over time is added (like air!) — there is recovery. The authors ask the readers, “Is there anything you wish that could have been better, different, or more?” This is an excellent question to process to get below the surface of the loss.

As you might suspect, I am huge on knowing what our internal messages are and reframing those messages to get us unstuck and moving in a healthy direction. I am not suggesting we camp out on fluffy ground. I continue to maintain that truth is what liberates. Some truth that I have fixed my mind on the last few days is that my Shepherd knows all about my loss; He says that as His sheep, I shall not want; and that He will not leave me comfortless. That is my focus. I am changing channels. I am still weeping but see myself mending. That is the start of recovery.

For Deeper Reflection

Psalm 23:1 “[Because] The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want [remain in want or loss] . . . .”

John 14:18 “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”

Helen B. McIntosh has a doctorate in counseling psychology and is a national board certified professional counselor and certified in reality therapy. An educator for 19 years, Dr. McIntosh is an author, a highly demanded national speaker and inventor of the Peace Rug®, an international curriculum for conflict resolution.

You can contact me confidentially at DrHelen@braveandresilient.com.

Let’s Talk

Favorite R Words


Q. Could you talk more about self-talk and how important words
are to us?

A. Let’s Talk! I have had a fascination with language for decades. I have seen first-hand as a counselor, the power of words spoken or unspoken and their impact on people. On a personal level, I have—and you have—experienced the devastation and destruction when toxic words come to you or when you speak them yourself. Even worse is to tuck these hurtful words away in your heart.

We just finished chatting about depression and reframing our thoughts, words, and messages that have gone south. Discovery of these thoughts are huge pieces of our recovery. Help that comes after the discovery of toxic thinking becomes the next part of our healing.

As some practice for listening to our words, I thought we could think about some R’s this week. I have been thinking all week how much I like R’s, especially Re’s. Some examples for starters are:

Resilient (as in Brave and . . . )        Recovery        Rescue        Restoration        Reconciliation          Repair        Rebuild          Reconstruction          Rebound          Respond          Release          Renew        Revive          Reverse          Reframing

Can you feel the hope in these words as you read them and say them? Isn’t it stunning the effect that words have?

Refresh us all with your own encouraging R words. Please add some uplifting R’s to this list this week and send them in the Comment section below. I can’t wait to add your enriching self-talk words to my own list!

For Deeper Reflection

Isaiah 58:8, 11, 12 “. . . and your recovery will speedily spring forth . . . and the Lord will continually guide you, and satisfy your desire in scorched places, and give strength to your bones; and you will be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water whose waters do not fail. And those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will raise up the age old foundations; and you will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell.”

Isaiah 61:4 “. . . and they will rebuild the ancient ruins, they will raise up the former devastations, and they will repair the ruined cities. . . .”

Helen B. McIntosh has a doctorate in counseling psychology and is a national board certified professional counselor and certified in reality therapy. An educator for 19 years, Dr. McIntosh is an author, a highly demanded national speaker and inventor of the Peace Rug®, an international curriculum for conflict resolution.

You can contact me confidentially at DrHelen@braveandresilient.com.