Loss Reorders Priorities

Trauma, grief and all the emotions associated with loss can be very powerful and uncomfortable. However, I have seen that our responses to the losses in our lives can be essential in moving ahead – it offers us the chance to reorder our priorities.

For example, we tend to be caught up in the goofy (but necessary) details of daily life and take them seriously – they grow in importance. This will sound familiar…a friend was judgmental, we were overlooked for a promotion, or we felt shame at making a mistake.  We get all wrapped up in the event. Then!!  A loss strikes. Perhaps it is a death, a frightening illness or another misfortune of serious proportions. All of a sudden, the small grievances vanish and we attend to our important matters.

Steve Jobs commented that having pancreatic cancer and looking at death gave him focus. I think Mr. Jobs was pretty focused already but I believe that staring at death did encourage him to be in the ‘now’ and attend to those challenges that were meaningful to him.

Let’s not wait.

If you are an early career clinician, a professor who teaches interviewing skills, or a clinical supervisor, you will find my newest book, “What Do I Say? The Therapist’s Guide To Answering Client’s Questions” (with C. Waehler, published by John Wiley, 2011) a  practical, useful addition to your library.   http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=what+do+i+say+edelstein

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