Situations of grief can bring you to – and leave you in – a bad place mentally, spiritually, and emotionally if you don’t carefully guard your heart. And the holidays can bring major temptations when going through grief or loss.
Life and grief can both be seriously unfair…and both can throw you for a loop.
Since life doesn’t offer an instruction book on grief, many are ill equipped to know what to do with their tough emotions and can then be vulnerable to making poor decisions.
Grief is highly emotional…and illogical. When going through grief or life challenges, you can become desperate to feel better. So, choices made while going through grief can be illogical, too.
Today’s holiday tip: Guard your spirit, heart, thoughts and emotions, and be very careful not to succumb to addictions or to self-medicating your pain.
Addictions come in many forms. The most common addictions are alcohol, drugs, prescription drugs, staying constantly busy so as to not think about your grief as much, accruing massive debt due to over shopping or gambling, extreme dieting or fitness, adultery/sexual addictions, or overeating. There are many other addictions, but these are probably the most common.
Addictions have a way of making you feel temporarily better, yet they always make you pay a much higher price than you’d ever want to pay. It’s like borrowing $5 but then having to pay back $50,000. And you’re not guaranteed the consequences will be easy or immediate…sometimes they’ll show up years later – even affecting future generations.
Addictions and self-medicating will leave you with guilt, regrets, additional brokenness, and compounded grief. They will also prove to be extremely costly and damaging to your family, relationships, and finances.
So how can you feel better?
It’s not easy, but it is absolute truth: embrace your grief, learn every life lesson you can from it, and grow through it.
There just are no good detours to getting through grief. You can’t go around it, over it, under it, or fast forward through it…you have to go through it in God’s timing.
When my son was little, one of his favorite games was Candy Land. He always hated landing on the spot that had the ladder that slid him right back to the very beginning of the game. That’s exactly what addictions will do…slide you right back down a ladder that makes you start all over again in your grief. It’s far better to go through your grief and avoid/prevent any further loss.
Wherever you are at this holiday season, be sure to never foolishly put yourself in a bad situation or an unwise place where it will end up starting, tempting, or feeding an addiction. Surround yourself with good people and only go to wise places where you know you can truly guard your heart and life.
If you’ve already given in to addictions, consider getting help so you can overcome them. Many people in my grief group who have struggled with addictions have attended Celebrate Recovery and have reported wonderful and amazing things. Feel free to check Celebrate Recovery here: http://www.celebraterecovery.com
You can also hear a helpful message about CR from Rick Warren here: https://www.celebraterecovery.com/index.php/about-us/message-from-rick-warren
Going through hurts and needing help is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, getting the encouragement and help you need takes a lot of courage.
I also believe it can be very effective to value the amazing creation God made you to be. I’m a big advocate of pursuing spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional wellness. Scheduling daily time with God and loved ones, scheduling daily time to exercise, relax, self reflect, and making time for personal enrichment are all very important.
Your life is important and so very precious! Seek to make every single day of your life count and always seek ways to better yourself, grow through your grief and struggles, so you are freed up to live a good life.
May everybody enjoy a peaceful Christmas filled with love, wisdom, health, and encouragement!
Gratitude & many blessings,
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2. Grief Bites: Doubt Revealed: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/954-grief-bites-doubt-revealed
3. Grief Bites: A New Approach To Growing Through Grief https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/862-grief-bites
4. Grief Bites: Hope For The Holidays: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/1964-grief-bites-hope-for-the-holidays
5. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Christmas: http://bible.com/r/3V5
6. Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: Happy New Year!: http://bible.com/r/3Zv
7. Valentine’s Day: Experiencing Holidays With Jesus: https://www.bible.com/reading-plans/14059-valentines-day-experiencing-holidays-with-jesus
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