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You’re hurting. But you can still take the next step, My Friend. Just seven months ago life was completely pulled out from under me.

Three strategies helped me get back on my feet. And whether you’re going through divorce, job overhaul, you name it. . . I know that they’re going to help you too.

What I learned in my own grief journey is that everyone has her own version of grief. Your pain is your pain. Your struggle is your struggle. It’s unique.

What do we do when we’re hurting? How do we maintain some level of composure when life throws massive curveballs at you?

1 — Life is Different. . . Not Over.

The first thing I want you to remember when life slams the door in your face — when your husband dies, when you go through a traumatic divorce, when emptiness taps you on the shoulder — remember that life is going to be very different from now on.

Not over, just different.

Something I learned really quickly is I can’t keep trying to go back to who I was. It just didn’t fit anymore.

And so when you are in this space of “This is too hard and I don’t know what to do with myself”, understand that this is the process of redefining your life–how you live, how you work, how you think, how you behave.

Start asking yourself, “how do I want to feel in the future?”

2 — How do I want to feel in the future?

One of the very first thoughts I had when I was told my husband had died was “I don’t want this to be the end of my life. I want to be healed. I want joy and love and laughter again.”

Remember, this is going to change your life, but you can still control your future. When experiencing loss, we can continue to look back at what we lost, what was stolen from us. And a lot of people will get stuck there.

Don’t get stuck there. You may not know what your future holds. And it’s going to be very different from what you had probably imagined.  But if you start asking yourself, “how do I want to feel in the future,” thinking about having a life of joy will help you move forward and stop looking back over your shoulder at the past.

3 — What’s the next step?

As you can imagine over the past seven months, there was grief and mourning and all of those difficult feelings. And in a lot of ways, the only thing I could do then was to mourn and grieve. The only thing I could focus on is what absolutely had to be done that day. But there’s a time when you shift out of survival mode into forward gear; and by asking myself questions, I shifted that gear.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked myself this question. . . “What’s the next step?” It got me off the floor again and again. And again.

The next step might be to make a single phone call. Or pay a bill. It might be to send an email to an attorney. It might be going to buy milk. It might be washing your hair. Be okay with that and ask yourself, “What is the next step?”

Give yourself time but always take the next step. You got this.