Grief or Hope — What Defines Your Life?

dark crumbling bldg wall with view to complete stone and brick building_green tree bathed in sunshineWhat defines your life? Sometimes an event or experience creates such a strong impact—positive or negative—that we allow it to define not only who we are, but also our future.

Each of us can probably point to certain defining moments in our lives when something happened that changed our course or direction. Maybe it’s an ‘Aha’ moment when suddenly we understood a concept that changed everything for us. Perhaps it’s an achievement such as finally earning an advanced degree, winning a race, or reaching an important personal goal. Positive events such as these can be pivotal in moving us ahead, in charting a new path, or by propelling us to a higher level. Such events may also work to redefine who we are and who we can be as a consequence of our experience.

On the other hand, painful events carry the potential to define our lives, too, and the result can either be positive or negative.

The grief that accompanies a devastating loss will change your life. However, the negative results of loss do not have to define your future. Some people allow themselves to become victims because of their losses. As I read somewhere recently, being a victim of a circumstance does not make you a victim!

You decide how your loss will affect the rest of your life. Grief can be shattering and overwhelming, there’s no doubt about it. However, you do not have to stay in this place. Grief also brings the potential for personal growth, greater compassion and sensitivity toward others, a passion to live a life of significance, spiritual growth, new dreams, and a heightened awareness of time.

What defines your life—grief or hope? Maybe the answer is both. If so, then you’ve made the decision to tap into the blessings, even miracles, of grief. Your life will be richer because of it.

While you didn’t choose your circumstances—you’ve chosen to define your life in a positive way as a result.

© 2012 Judy Brizendine

About Judy

"Out of your deepest pain comes your greatest gift." Judy writes about grief and loss in a realistic, practical way - to help, inspire, encourage, and educate any who face loss in their lives. A fellow-traveler's approach to grief ...

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4 Responses to “Grief or Hope — What Defines Your Life?”

  1. Debbie Haget says:

    What a beautiful post, and it couldn’t be more true. The loss of my 16 year old brother to suicide, changed my life forever. At first, it affected my life in such a negative way. Now, many years later, I have channeled that grief to promote suicide awareness and do everything I can to aid in the healing of those people impacted by such a tragedy.

    • admin says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Debbie. I’m so glad you’ve been able to take the pain of your brother’s death and use it in such a positive way to help others. Loss does change us forever. Deciding to channel the grief in a positive way takes the experience and turns it into something hopeful, not just for your own life but for others, too. God bless you.
      Judy