THE WISDOM IN SUPPORT AND EXPRESSION…

DEALING WITH GRIEF AND BEREAVEMENT PT 2

LOOKING TO LOVED ONES FOR SUPPORT

Have you ever been privy to a conversation like this, “What’s wrong? Are you alright? Do you want to talk about it? If you talk about it you will probably feel better.”? Most of us have been asked those very questions when we appeared to have something bothering us in the watchful eyes of a friend. In the words of Ovid, “Suppressed grief suffocates, it rages within the breast, and is forced to multiply its strength.” Many wise people over the centuries have endeavored to help others realize how toxic bottling up your feelings from circumstances or experiences can be on an individual’s health. The 1st article touched on how grief comes in waves, and because of the uncertainty in the strength of the waves we must pace ourselves as we cope in this time. Now I would like to share another point my Dear Ones.

Express what is coming from within…

Every time we experience something traumatic we have both inward and outward expressions of thoughts. These thoughts from either plane effect how we function and our mental and physical health. If you had a illness that the medical field said would only get worse over time and you chose to keep it a secret from everyone including your Doctor would you expect to gain a full recovery? The answer is No. By failing to address your health issues to hopefully alleviate or remedy them you would only be making your health circumstances worse.

The same is to be said for your mental health. Suppressing those bubbling thoughts, words, or silent screams can be to your determinate. Part of The Natural Human Connection is communication. Realistically everyone does it along with animals; even plants have their own form of communication. Communication is Communication is innate and essential to coping with our grief.

Negative emotions can build within us. This build up of negativity can affect your mood, relationships, physical stamina in your daily routine, your necessary activities that keep you thriving like eating and sleeping, and your very will to live. I don’t think I need to highlight that anymore. You get the picture. Negativity is a road that can have a damaging snowball effect. It can start with a few repressed feelings and quickly become a sizable mass of injurious pain that harms or even maims a part of your functioning consciousness.   Our goal is to cope and gently deal with our grief. So what shall we do?

I have a saying as silly as it sounds…”Do not suppress just confess.” I won’t sugar coat it I find it hard personally to communicate with others. I am a somewhat reserved person, but when I began to lose my loved ones and I saw how silencing myself was only making it worse I realized it was time for a change. A social worker met with me in the hospital when my Daughter was dying and He told me that I needed to express my feelings verbally to someone I trusted. Of course I blew this off at first but after awhile I could feel the suffering inside my mind and body suffocating me. Eventually I decided to choose a couple people to confide in. It wasn’t easy but as I spoke more and more I could feel a small release of that throbbing distress inside of me. It was not by any means a cure all but it gave me a small semblance of aid. “Tearless grief bleeds inwardly.” Christian Nesdell Bove

My Dear Ones one way to cope is to vent those feelings. Seriously in any loss or situation leading up to the loss of a loved one there is so much to question and think on. The gamut of emotions and thoughts can feel endless. There is anger, there is the whys, the sorrow, the pleading, confusion, what ifs, why didn’t I, blaming, the moments of needing to cry or scream, and much much more.  These are all natural feelings and thoughts considering the circumstances. This is why it is so important to vent those thoughts and feelings to a trusted individual.

So vent, rant, rave! Scream your head off if need be, cry, verbalize, and give legs to the good, bad, and the ugly emotions you are experiencing. This trusted person or persons may be a family member, a Friend, Spouse, Co Worker, Neighbor; anyone you feel is a confidant that will not judge you for your need to talk.

The subject and experience of death is a difficult and complex occurrence in one’s life. It would be wise not to endure this puzzling crisis alone. “Grief is a world you walk through skinned, unshelled.” Ariel.  I will not fool you into thinking that sharing your innermost thoughts and pangs is an easy action. It is not. It wasn’t for me and it may not be for you either. I do implore you Dear ones however arduous the verbalizing and expressing oneself may be sharing out loud can have a medicinal effect mentally and physically.

As the quote above mentions grief can make you feel naked and exposed as can sharing your thoughts about what you are experiencing or have experienced. I was told by some AMAZING people that by loving me I have become a part of them and their life as they are of mine. So by extension sharing with them, expressing myself and my true feelings with them, and baring all honesty of my soul to them is as important to them as their own feelings.

I particularly loved this expression because their words reminded me of my own thoughts that in some way it feels as if we are all connected, or can be connected if we would just open up and allow ourselves to be. These loved ones and friends have let me know that my feelings are just as important to them as their own are. How loving and self sacrificing is that?

My dear friends I am not going to beat around the bush as they say and pretend that grief and loss is not heart wrenchingly difficult. I just wanted to share some of the kind wisdom others have shared with me over the past month and a half. I continue to battle as I am absolutely sure you do. I will say I am thinking of you all and praying for you in my own manner.

Personally I have not been emotionally able to share my personal experience with everyone yet but I am planning on trying my best. My love to you all, and please feel free to contact me with your thoughts, experiences, or anything. We are all humans and in need of support.

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9 THINGS I WOULD TELL MY YOUNGER SELF

  1. SELF CARE IS JUST AS IMPORTANT AS ANY OTHER RELATIONSHIP YOU HAVE. It’s okay to love yourself. Having a healthy self esteem is so important to achieving your goals. I can’t tell you how many times I didn’t take a good risk because I had low self esteem. So go get in front of that mirror and tell yourself you love you and your worth anything!
  2. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. Seriously when your gut is saying there is something fishy about a situation or wrong go with your intuition and get out of there. I was 17 and I was rollerblading at a local park at 9 in the dark of night when a man pulled up into the park driveway. The man motioned for me to come to the vehicle I shook my head no. The man proceeded to reach for something under his seat. Immediately I had the intuition it was a gun. I hauled you know what out of there. I got a head start and he spun out following me home. He was right on my tail. Thankfully there were people out front and he took off. So friends take those protect yourself vibes seriously. They could save your life.
  3. WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS and keep them in plain sight so that you make yourself accountable. Setting goals in life is important. If you don’t set any you could find yourself aimlessly wandering in life. A purposeless life is no way to live.
  4. CULTIVATE HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS… When it comes to friendships and even familial relationships no one wants to deal with a toxic person. Do not be afraid to periodically evaluate those relationships to see if they are MUTUALLY beneficial. If you seem to sense that someone is taking advantage of you, being an energy vampire, or just plain sucks at caring for you let that sh*t go. Your wellbeing is important if a person seems to not care then it’s time.
  5. BE KINDER TO PEOPLE… when I was younger I had a habit of being, well a bit*h. I had a chip on my shoulder and I wasn’t afraid to let everyone know it. I noticed as I matured and recognized this character flaw that I was just projecting onto other people my own unhappiness. How selfish! When I “grew up” as it were I noticed the sweet honey effect kindness had on people I decided not to go back to that negative person I was before.
  6. REMEMBER WORDS DO NOT HAVE TO HAVE POWER OVER YOU…Of course words can hurt but you control your own feelings and the effect they have over you. Again it comes down to letting that sh*t go. If a person wants to mouth off let them look like scum and don’t even respond it’s not worth your time.
  7.   IF SOMEONE WANTS TO ACT LIKE A FRIEND BUT TALK SH*T ABOUT YOU BEHIND YOUR BACK fu*k it. In the words of Elsa on Frozen let it goooooo let it goooo. I have had so many friends and family do this and it is negative energy best shunned. A good friend is a friend you can trust. If someone is shady or spreads your personal business around they are not worth your time.
  8. TO HAVE GOOD FRIENDS YOU HAVE TO BE A GOOD FRIEND…. Remember the golden rule? Do unto others what you would want done to you. In any relationship it is about bring value to that person’s life and vice versa. Be the kind of friend you would personally want in your life then you will naturally attract that same type of person.
  9. MAKE PERSONAL GROWTH A PRIORITY… What do I mean by that you ask? Well we need to be constantly looking for ways to improve upon our personality. What are your personal weaknesses? Is it pride, selfish tendencies, are you caddy, what is you weakness? Identify it and work to alleviate it. Really you have much to benefit by this action you will feel better about yourself and life in general.

Well that is it my lovely friends! What would you tell your younger self? Leave it in the comments! I would love to hear about it. As always friends take care and Farewell! Be sure to like, comment, and feel free to share this article.

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5 TIPS TURNING YOUR MOOD AROUND

I don’t know about you, but I have seen some sh%t in my life. Seriously I have waded through that river with my baggage on my head trying to stay afloat. Situations come around in life that is challenging, daunting, or downright moves you to grief. Here are some steps I take to go from blah to ahh.
Now I am using my truth voice here I deal with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, and agoraphobia. So believe me when I tell you that I know doing these things are not easy these suggestions will be challenging at first, but I am here to tell you that you can. I believe in you.

  1. Challenge yourself to get out of the house. Go look in the mirror and say “I am going to go outside today for blank amount of time. Then make good on it. Grab a book or magazine go sit at your favorite coffee shop or park. The sunlight will lift your spirits, and the caffeine will give you that jolt to liven up. When a person is exposed to sunlight, the brain releases the hormone serotonin. The hormone boosts the mood, and thus calms the person down reducing anxiety. When a person doesn’t get enough sunlight the levels of serotonin drop and cause a dip in mood. So go soak up those rays!
  2. Try to limit your time on social media. Sure it’s fun to tweet, post, and comment. Researchers have found that people who spend a lot of time on social media actually feel more isolated and that affects their mood. Social media can be a great way to connect with people, but it can also be used as a tool to bully, for people to write nasty things about you and many other negative behaviors. Those behaviors won’t bring you the joy you need and deserve.
  3. Call a Friend or Family Member to make a lunch date with them. Sometimes a good talk with another human can drag us out of the emotional mud. Plus when you run your challenge or reason for feeling down with someone they may have a different view to share with you. This fresh way of looking at the situation may just be what the DR ordered. Honestly from my perspective, this is always the hardest for me since as I said I have agoraphobia but I challenge myself, and once I do I always feel better. I tell you this because I don’t want you to think you are alone. I felt alone in my anxiety and depression for a long time and it isn’t a good place to linger in.
  4. I started doing aromatherapy in my house, and it made all the difference. So here is my regimen: Mornings I put on Peppermint oil, it wakes me up and lifts my mood while I guzzle coffee lol, Afternoon I put on something with citrus it keeps me awake for the afternoon haul, and at night time I use lavender sometimes I put basil in it too the combo is perfect. Think about it when you are in a flower shop doesn’t the aroma lift your spirits? Give your nose and brain a reboot with aromatherapy.
  5. Ok maybe I am going too far here, but seriously a little retail therapy can help. Don’t go overboard lol but give yourself a modest budget and take yourself on a date to your favorite store, or local donut shop or maybe both. Get yourself something to cheer you up. For me its journals. I have far too many to use in this lifetime. My Husband won’t let me go into the journal section anymore sadly haha. Seriously Treat Yo Self

Well, my lovely friends, I hope this article was of some value to you. Please know that I care about all of you and my heart goes out to you all under any circumstance you may be enduring. Please feel free to share with me any tips you may have when dealing with anxiety of any type in the comments. Please feel free to like, share this or visit me on any of my social media handles. I’d love to chat!!! Farewell my friends. Instagram @bree_renne Facebook @brendamullinsbloggerauthor

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4 WAYS TO KEEP YOURSELF MOTIVATED TO REACH YOUR GOALS IN 2019

Hey there friends! I’m back again. It’s 2019, and we all have goals in mind for the New Year. How do you keep yourself motivated and accountable to achieve those goals? That is a great question. I have a few tips and tricks up my sleeve that I do.

First I physically write my goals on sticky notes. I believe that writing down goals helps you manifest your goals. Some of us believe in the law of attraction even if you don’t think so leaving those notes on your mirror for you to see in the morning and at night is a constant reminder. We as humans are visual creatures having a visual reminder can be inspiring and put a fire under our tushes lol.

Second I find writing or keeping motivational or affirmation sayings around the house or on your phone can help to provide an air of positivity. Here are some places I leave the notes:  the fridge, mirrors, on a bulletin board, on doors. When it comes to goals the best thing you can do is stay positive to stay motivated. There is nothing worse than having a bad day, feeling negative, and then deciding to chuck your goal in the fu%* it bucket.

Third I make sure to discuss my goals with my family and the closest people to me. This in itself gives me a sense of accountability. Then those people can remind me of my goals and also check up on me to ask about my progress. I know I know it may seem like Mommy is watching over you but really this is just another avenue that will encourage you to grow. Sometimes a little people pressure can motivate a person.

Lastly, I keep posting affirmations and positive quotes to my social media accounts. For instance, I have a board on Pinterest with affirmations. I also post positive sayings to my Facebook and Instagram.  I was told my family and friends that that also helps them stay positive too so a twofold reward right there!

So my friends keep up the good work while progressing toward your personal goals! I believe in you! So go kick some tail!

What motivates you and how do you stay motivated? Let me know in the comments. Let’s chat!

Remember to follow me on Instagram @bree_renne I F4F. I love to do shououts so DM me. Well so long my friends! Farewell.

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THE SOCIAL SCIENCE OF KINDNESS

“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.” Og Mandino

When I was 8, I took notice of a little girl my age and her sister on the playground. I noticed them because the look on their faces was melancholy. I had never seen two girls so sad in my young life. Some of the other children were making fun of them because they were unwashed and had knots in their hair. 

I realized that I had a deep sense of justice in me at that point because the kids jeering made me angry and sad for the girls. I knew I was committing social suicide in a sense by befriending the girls, but at this point, I didn’t care.

I could see that these girls must be living a challenging life and there must have been more to the story. I was surprised to learn that she lived in my neighborhood. My Sister and I walked home with them. The girls took us to their dilapidated house. There was no front door which immediately worried me. There was only a tapestry in place of the door. I asked her if they got cold or felt afraid at night that someone would come in the house. The oldest girl merely laughed.

My family and I spent the next two years helping the girls and feeding them when we could. The point to this thought isn’t to toot our horn it is merely a friendly reminder that kindness has power in this world. I have noticed that the mannerism of kindness has somewhat faded in our society. On social media, people argue among themselves about politics, their personal views, and other views.

Some conversations I have seen have been almost violent in manner. These are quotes from studies at Dartmouth University on the effect of kindness on the brain…”According to research from Emory University, when you are kind to another person, your brain’s pleasure and reward centers light up, as if you were the recipient of the good deed—not the giver. This phenomenon is called the “helper’s high.” It goes on…Engaging in kindness releases endorphins the body’s natural pain killer. Kindness aids in lower blood pressure, anxiety, and much more.”

That is only one side of the effects of kindness. Think of the delight the recipient feels. No doubt after your act of kindness that feeling stays with them for some time and gives them a little more faith in humanity. You can illustrate it this way: After you eat an excellent, well-rounded meal, you feel full and satisfied.  The same feeling can be experienced by showing a random person a little kindness.

Speaking of kindness thank you to all who took the time to read my thoughts at Thoughticle by Bree Renne as always farewell my friends and feel free to like, share, or comment your thoughts below! I love to hear from you all!!!

Link to the study a fore mentionedhttps://www.dartmouth.edu/wellness/emotional/rakhealthfacts.pdf

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COPING WITH GRIEF AND BEREAVEMENT PART 1

“Sometimes, only one person is missing, and the whole world seems depopulated.” Alphonse De Lamartine. The vast majority of us, if not all, have lost someone dear to us in death. May it be friends, best friends, Mothers, Fathers, Grandparents, a child, or even a Spouse. My name is Bree I am no stranger to grief and loss. Like many of us I have lost friends, grandparents, and in recent years I lost my Daughter who was only 20 months old then just a few short weeks ago I lost my Best Friend, my Husband. Over the years and through personal experience well meaning people within my life have imparted their thoughts to help me with my struggles of grief. This post is a compilation of the worded treasures I was sympathetically gifted by those few. I do sincerely hope that even just a small piece of what I share with you reaches a place in your heart and brings you some measure of comfort.

  1. GRIEF COMES IN WAVES…

When I think of the grief process I liken it to the waves of the ocean. Loss brings an awareness of the finality in life, and that awareness comes on strong like tumultuous waves that crash onto the shore of our hearts and pummel our emotions. Then other times like the natural ebb and flow of the ocean the waves of grief are temporarily softer and more manageable to stand in. Either way in the words of Yance Ford…”Grief is a very complicated monster. There’s no real exorcising of it. It has a different form every day.”

Those words ring of absolute truth. After losing someone we cannot expect each day to bring the same sequence of outcomes. Why? Well because we are human our emotions, circumstances, and other factors fluctuate. Therefore one day we may feel somewhat calm and have a higher level of practical functionality then say two days before when we felt like a 10 foot swell of grief-stricken sorrow overcame us leaving us with a heartsick, tear-stained face in its wake. Remember grief is subject to change much like our feelings and reactions. “Grief to me is a moment to moment experience.” Yance Ford. Take each wave as it comes, and slowly deal with that particular emotion it is coaxing out of you. 

  •  DON’T BEAT YOURSELF UP OVER THE TASKS THAT ARE TEMPORARILY TOO MUCH.

“The thing about grief is that it’s a roller coaster, it’s up, and it’s down. The emotions sometimes take over.” John Woolman. Do you ever just wake up some mornings and think, “Well I am just too tired to get out of bed this morning.”? Why would that be the case? Usually it is circumstantial. Maybe you had a bad day yesterday or something major occurred and it wiped you out.  No other circumstance in life challenges us as heavily as the loss of a loved one. Some have expressed the loss as…”it is just part of life.” This is regrettably true, yet just because humans live and die does not belittle the fact that our deepest emotions are involved in what I call, “The Natural State of Human Connection.” When we lose someone that state of human Connection is severed. This severing of this familiar relationship has repercussions that we cannot ignore.

Grief is not simple, and it is not cut and dry. Grief is a process and each person expressions are almost certain to be different mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. When the waves of grief are high and exhibit strength the factors listed above will enter into a mode of plight. So then reasonably there will come times when what seems like even the simplest tasks in your life will feel insurmountable. Keep in mind this doesn’t mean you are weak or are failing in any way. This simply means that you are processing a life changing event.

 On thinking deeper when you lose a loved one this is a sudden and drastic removal from your life. You cannot simply see them, or speak to their physical being, and the time you affectionately spent with them feels stolen or robbed from you. This is in a sense a forced vacancy in your personal life. The level of sorrow this vacancy is causing in your heart requires levels of processing. These levels take time, understanding, and compassion (REMEMBER YOU HAVE TO GIVE YOURSELF PERSONAL COMPASSION, that means not beating yourself up.), and a recognition that this will take some big adjustments even though the adjustments strike at the core of our spirit.

This is important my dear ones it doesn’t matter what anyone says however callus they may be about the subject and circumstance of death, loss, grief, or bereavement there is no “normal” time for you to grieve or feel the ache of a loss. You are the only one who can properly access what you need and when you need it. No one can see inside your mind or heart that is your space and yours alone. This means we have to employ honesty in terms of what we are capable of accomplishing each minute, hour, and day that we are enduring and coping with grief and bereavement. Yes we have to take it one step at a time. If you have heard of the term “baby steps” that is exactly what I mean. Honest evaluation of personal needs can save us from burn out, an emotional breakdown, or just the flat out constant rush of being overwhelmed and ready to give up.

So if you wake up and you just can’t seem to do some of those few tasks today or this very moment  give yourself a pass. (Of course I am not saying don’t pay your bills, go to work, or things that keep you thriving in life) What I am saying is often times we are easier on others than we are on ourselves. To illustrate: If your child came to you crying because of an event they personally felt was terrible would you say SUCK IT UP GET BACK TO CLEANING? Most likely not, as loving Parents we try to comfort our children when they are in pain and we try to help them cope through situation that is causing them distress. Of course it is so much simpler to give another human other than ourselves a pass or some leeway, but now is the time for you to do this very act of compassion for Yourself.

When we lose a loved one there is so much to process, and come to terms with. We are thrust into the midst of Recognizing that loss forces us to accept and adjust to drastic changes. These changes feel like a battle warring within your being.  If there is a battle warring within you is it really the time for you to become your own worst enemy? Is it really the time to lay siege to an attack on yourself just because for the moment you cannot seem to accomplish everything you set out to do? The obvious answer is no. Now it is time for you. Allow yourself some breathing room. Help you, to help yourself. Remember coping is your primary personal goal right now. Give yourself the space to grow in that direction.

So remember the words of Anne Grant “Grief is a process not a state.”  Do not let others opinions define what is normal or necessary, do not let any critical little voice in your head attack you for anything you have to set aside for the moment, and lastly let the process flow do not put any hard and fast rules on yourself or your lifestyle for the moment. My dear ones I do send you all my thoughts and prayers. May you all find a semblance of peace in this challenging, tumultuous, and excruciating time. I send you my love.

NEXT BLOG POST…MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE OF GRIEF LOSING MY HUSBAND AND DAUGHTER.  In the next follow up articles I will also include 2 guest bloggers with their personal grief experiences and how they have managed to cope. I will say their experiences are relatable, and their struggles and spirit are inspirational.

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