When life takes you out.

bouncing back grief Aug 15, 2023

I am still trying to figure out what I did (or didn't do) last week. What I do know is that I was wholly unproductive after losing my oldest Berner on Monday.


The world tells us we must push through our grief - or disappointments - and move on with our lives and obligations. If you still believe that, I'm allowing you to ignore such pressure.


Grief, loss, and disappointment require us to process the emotions that come with them. Whether you are crushed because you didn't hit a goal, or you just found out you have to find a new activity for your dog, or your dog gets injured, or any number of things, you need to process it before you "move on."


I'm reading The Pivot Year by Brianna Wiest (it's a page-a-day book), and on Day 45 she writes, "Letting go is not meant to be easy; it is not supposed to be simple to unwind your soul from the things that have captivated your mind, your time, and your life for so long. You are not supposed to be able to effortlessly and numbly cut things that were once a part of you and set them free. You are not supposed to separate yourself from what's most essential within your experience."


I expect this quote to have a different meaning for everyone reading it. For me - this week - it's about losing a dog. But it could just as easily be about a goal you worked really hard for, or a dog you put so much effort into only to be frustrated with the journey.


We get to grieve our unmet goals. We get to be frustrated with our performance. If we are fortunate, we will have many dogs come into our lives and challenge us in ways we cannot predict. This is the unique sport we've chosen.


So give yourself some grace. Allow yourself the time to process before declaring to the world that you're "fine." If it's a (relatively) small setback, maybe 10 minutes of venting in the "bitch barn" will suffice. Bigger bummers take more time - let yourself have it. Any dream worth having will tug you back into action!


"It may seem as though other people stumble upon their dream lives, but the truth is that everything inspiring is layered upon itself through time. Everything is continuously and consciously chosen, over and over again, until it forms into reality. Soulmate relationships are built. Resilient people are built - often with the pieces of their greatest failures, mistakes, and missteps. You do not have to be perfect. You just have to keep going. You have to keep moving in the direction of your dreams." The Pivot Year, Day 51.

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