Death, Divorce or Job Loss: 5 Keys to Help You Move past the Pain

It is a common tale. My client was upset by the tension at her job. Management changes had everyone nervous – clients and employees.

“How can this happen?”

“What happens next?”

“Why can’t everything just be like it was?”

Now here’s the interesting part. She is on the far side of a messy divorce. After more than 30 years of marriage, her husband came home one day and told her he was done, didn’t love her anymore, wanted ‘out’.

“How could this happen?”

“What happens to me?”

“Why can’t everything just be like it was?”

The grief, pain, fear and emotional devastation are similar for a job loss, divorce or death of a loved one. And the process of healing is also similar.

A few years ago, one of the biggest employers in our town went through a take-over, management turnover and downsizing (translate: older workers at higher pay and pension scale). For those who had worked for decades to get their names on the ‘Wall of Service’, the bottom fell out of their lives. Security disappeared with the severance check; anger and uncertainty replaced sense of purpose.

I reminded her how long it took her to recover from the trauma of betrayal and divorce. It’s been more than two years, but she’s putting her life back together. She has been through the steps: rage, denial, grief, uncertainty, loss of esteem to discover calm, peace, and a new sense of direction. She is now a New Woman, freer to express who she truly is and pursue new dreams.

Difficult? Yes, absolutely.

No one wants to have their comfortable lifestyle torn away, destroyed by people or circumstances. And emotions can seem overwhelming as your mind searches for answers.

Here are four keys to help you move past the pain to find your rebirth.

  1. Remind yourself often that YOU are not defined by your job, your marriage or any other situation. You are capable of loving, giving, blessing and sharing your gifts and talents – regardless of your circumstances. Actively look for ways to be involved with and bless others. Tell yourself – out loud – that you are strong, that you are OK, that you can win. God said you are “more than a conqueror” (Rom. 8:37) and that He has given you the victory (I Cor. 15:57). He also said He will never leave you nor forsake you (Deut. 31:6).
  2. Give yourself permission to enjoy life. The sun did not quit shining, flowers still bloom. A cup of hot coffee (or tea!) tastes just as good. Recognize the blessings in your life and BE GRATEFUL. Tell God often how much you appreciate all those little things that make life worth living even in your present circumstances. Tell others, too! Gratitude multiplies – the more you give, the more you will have to be grateful for.
  3. Dream. You have actually been given a divine opportunity to re-invent yourself. If time and money were no object, design your perfect life. What does it feel like, sound like, look like? Where are you most happy? Doing what? For whom? Once you have the life ‘designed’ in your head, write it down. Then begin exploring ways to bring it to pass. The universe is designed by God to bring you “the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4)  
  4. Believe. Faith is the most powerful energy in the universe. And it is expressed and confirmed by your words and actions. Use your faith to believe for positive results. Put a watch over your mouth. Negative talk comes to pass just the same as positive confession. Don’t pray one thing (Father, I thank You for a new position) and then tell all your friends that “the economy is so bad, I’ll probably never find a job.” 1 – 1 = 0. No result. Stay on the positive side!
  5. Take charge of your feelings. Do not let your emotions control you. You do not have to feel bad, just because you ‘feel bad’. Do something – anything – to short circuit your ‘feelings’. Play music. Dance. Sing. Do something fun. Help someone else. Your emotions actually follow your thoughts, so if you change your thoughts, you will change how you ‘feel’, Feeling sorry for yourself is non-productive.

All the people I knew who lost their jobs in the take-over went through a similar process. Shock, denial, anguish. Slowly, they began to look for options they would never have considered while ‘gainfully employed’.  I’ve seen new careers, new home-based businesses, new opportunities emerge from the ashes of loss. People, who were devastated by a situation over which they had no control, have taken control of their lives and moved forward.

There’s a saying that “when God closes a door, He opens a window.” It is true. Deep within, you must recognize that The End is never really an end, just a change of direction.

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