June 21, 2020

This is the grieving process. It is also called the “forgiveness process,” — the healing process, and the way God works with us. A sense of loss is usually present, as is hope, which is sometimes unrealistic. From Codependent No More:

  1. Denial
    • We feel crazy because we are lying to ourselves. We feel crazy because we are believing other people’s lies.
    • We refuse to believe reality (“No, this can’t be!); deny or minimize (“It’s not a big deal”); deny any feelings “I don’t care”); mental avoidance (“sleeping, obsessing, compulsive behaviors, keeping busy”).
    • The deep, instinct part of us knows the truth, but we are pushing it away. We then decide that there’s something fundamentally wrong with us for being suspicious, and we label ourselves and our innermost, intuitive being as untrustworthy.
    • Denial isn’t lying. It is not letting ourselves know what reality is. It is the shock absorber to protect us from devastating information to prevent us from becoming overloaded, until we can gather our other coping resources.
  2. Anger
    • Setting someone straight, showing someone the light, or confronting a serious problem does not often turn out the way we expect. If we are denying a situation, we won’t move directly into acceptance of reality — we’ll move into anger. We may be justified in venting our wrath, or we may irrationally vent our fury on anything or anyone, ourselves, or even God. “The vocation of putting people straight, of tearing off their masks, of forcing them to face the repressed truth, is a highly dangerous and destructive calling,” — John Powell in Why Am I Afraid To Tell You Who I Am?”
  3. Bargaining
    • After we have calmed down, we attempt to strike a bargain with life, ourselves, another person, or God. We are not attempting to postpone the inevitable. We are attempting to prevent it, so we don’t suffer the loss.
  4. Depression
    • When we see our bargain has not worked, when we finally become exhausted from our struggle to ward off reality, and we decide to acknowledge what life has socked to us we become sad, sometimes terrible depressed. The essence of grief — mourning at its fullest. This is what we have been attempting at all costs to avoid. This is the stage of the process when we humbly surrender. It’s the “forgiveness process,” (Esther Olson) and will disappear only when it has been worked out and processed through.
  5. Acceptance
    • “It is not a resigned and hopeless ‘giving up,’ a sense of ‘what’s the use?’ or ‘I just cannot fight any longer.’ They indicate the beginning of the end of the struggle. Acceptance should not be confused with a happy stage. “It is almost void of any feelings. It is as if the pain has gone, the struggle is over.” — Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross. We are at piece with what it is. We are free to stay; free to go on; free to make whatever decisions we need to make. Not only are we comfortable with our circumstances and the changes we have endured, but we believe we have in some way benefitted from our loss or change even if we cannot fully understand how or why. We deeply believe our present circumstances — every detail of of them — are exactly as they ought to be for the moment.