Uncertainty is massively de-stabilizing to the nervous system. Us humans like predictability – which is why we like to categorize people, by their job, marital status, ethnicity, city of birth, political party affiliation, gender etc.
The last few months have been hugely unstable for many people – don’t you feel that too?
This uncertainty has, in many cases created loss for many people: jobs, relationships, local and beloved restaurants and stores. I know of many people who have taken early retirement, and due to the quarantine situation have not been able to have the usual retirement parties – which allows for a ritual of transition between working and not-working, for example.
This is ambiguous loss.
This is the kind of loss that occurs without closure or clear understanding, such as when someone you have been communicating with ghosts you, and you don’t know whether it’s because they found a better option or you offended them somehow.
The thing about ambiguity is that you create potential answers, or play our scenarios of things that you would like to say or do, as you try to create clarity and understanding. And, my friend, this slows down your grieving and complicates the healing process.
A tool for processing ambiguous loss is a technique called “dialog.” Take a moment to identify the person you would like to communicate with, who played a significant role in your experience of ambiguous loss.
- Grab a notebook and pen and set it next to you.
- Close your eyes, ground your feet, sit up straight and lengthen your exhales for a few minutes.
- Allow a soothing place in nature to open up in front of you – and start to walk along the path that emerges in front of you.
- Notice someone walking towards you on the path.
- As you start to see the features of the person walking towards you, notice that this is the person who you did not have a resolved interaction with (note – the person can be living or dead). Look at them, see them, feel them.
- Open your eyes, and take your notebook and have a conversation with with this person: Your initial: “…..” Their initial: “…..” Repeat. You are literally writing out a conversation with this person.
- When you are finished read through and write a summary statement with any observations.
You can release this into the universe – by burning the piece of paper. You can use your revelations to reach out to them, if that feels good, or you can do some more journaling about what you concluded.
You can use this technique with people from your past too – perhaps a family member, ex-lover, ex-boss who have you some residual and unresolved feelings toward.
If you do this – let me know what you discovered about yourself!
Book a chat with me here – I employ lots of tools to support your mindset.