Love & Family

65 SAVED IDEAS

The Kübler-Ross Model of Grieving

Grief comes in many forms and everyone has experienced it in many different ways, but this model theory is only a reference, not a rule. The five stages of grief are:

  • Denial
  • Anger
  • Bargaining
  • Depression
  • Acceptance.

The five stages of grief were once known as the five stages of death, however, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, the Swiss American psychiatrist that invented this theory extended her model to many different kinds of losses.

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Love & Family

This is a common defense mechanism that buffers the immediate shock felt during unexpected situations. We may often fantasize about the untruths and hope that the news we've received isn't real.

After the first reaction of shock and denial, you may go numb for a while. You could feel like nothing matters to you anymore and life as you once knew it has changed. It may be difficult to feel you can move on, but once you've gained enough courage to face the truth, your healing journey will begin.

Pain takes shape in many different forms and often redirected or expressed as anger. A lot of people reject this feeling because of its intensity and sometimes because of their culture.

During this stage of grief, there is a possibility that you may lash out at other people, objects, yourself, or life in general. However, try to remind yourself that underneath the anger that you're feeling is pain and is a part of the healing process.

This is the stage of grieving where you try to find a way to hold on to hope in order to cope with intense pain; where we are willing to do anything and sacrifice everything just so that things could go back to the way they were.

Often in this situation we also tend to think about the things we could have done differently, but what's happened has happened, and that will not remove the guilt we feel. It's also a part of healing where we confront the reality of our losses.

We're not referring to clinical depression in this instance when talking about depression, but as a natural and appropriate response to grief.

When we begin to face the reality of our situation, it is not inevitable to feel instense sadness and despair. We could also experience fatigue, unwillingness to move on, loss of appetite, or not being able to enjoy the things you once did. This is also a part of our healing journey.

Acceptance is not about being okay with what happened, rather it is about acknowledging the loss and learning to live with it, and readjusting our lives accordingly.

Depending on your experience, it is quite understandable if ever you do not feel this way. Sometimes you will find yourself stationed at this feeling and then later feel another stage of grief. This back-and-forth is a natural part of the healing process.

Many people believe that there is a right and wrong way to grieve, but in reality, there isn't. Grieving isn't about following a list of steps and then getting over the situation right after. It's a unique journey and is experienced differently by everyone, some might go through every phase while others don't.

There is no specific order to grieve and if ever that you find yourself falling into the deep end and developing clinical depression, it's time to reach out to a professional.

  1. It is important to express your needs to trusted people such as your friends or family members. Allow them to help you in the ways you feel will best suit your needs;
  2. There are support groups that have gone through the same thing as you have and these are safe spaces where you can freely express your grief without the feeling of pressure; and
  3. Grief counsellors are professionals that can support your grieving process; this applies to therapists as wll.
  1. The best support comes from just being there and making it clear that you’re available to listen to the things they want to share with you;
  2. It can be frigthening to message someone who is grieving and check up on them, but don't let fear stop you from showing empathy;
  3. Try to lift some of the weight off of their shoulders. Explore the areas they might need help managing while they process their loss.
  4. Wait for them to express how they feel instead of assuming that they're ready to talk about it.
Relationships are a predictor of the quality of life

Your social relationships are actually a strong predictor of the quality of life, both psychological and physical. Invest in your relationships; material possessions don't generally bring lasting happiness.

Your intimate and platonic relationships need to be nurtured with love and care in order for them to thrive and produce healthy relationship habits. With good social relations, we end up happier, less stressed, more resilient to pain, and lowered cognitive decline.

Many people grow up with unreliable and untrustworthy people around them. This has made them develop traits and characteristics which could have been prevented had they received proper care and guidance.

Regardless, our childhood experiences do not determine the quality of our adult lives. From an earned secure attachment—a secure attachment style that comes from our positive experiences later in life—we are able to have securely attached relationships and friendships.

We all have baggage we carry around, big or small. However, just because we do does not mean that we are incapable of finding and being in lovingly sustainable relationships and friendships.

We are imperfect beings thus we must find a good group of people that celebrates our strengths and tolerates our vulnerabilities—to some, endearing. Sure, personal healing and growth can and will improve our relationships and overall quality of life, but we can also do that activity within relationships.

Proposing On One Knee
  • Kneeling on one knee while proposing has its roots in an ancient practise, originated in the Persian Empire.
  • This was part of a rank-based greeting ritual, called proskynesis, adopted by Alexander The Great.
  • The 11th century Knights used this gesture towards the ladies, something called ‘courtly love’, a romantic commitment that was done even to married ladies.
  • The Knights pledged to serve and honour the lady they love.

The life-long commitment that is asked for while proposing requires humility, devotion and steadfastness.

Bending on one knee has been a well-known way to propose a lover from medieval times to the scenes of modern-day engagement ceremonies.

Modern Love

Modern love is harder than ever, as commitment becomes synonymous with the loss of self. The western world has always cherished a sense of individualism, and each person is to be a complete package, being able to provide compassion, sexual excitement, financial freedom and even self worth.

The result: Love is commodified

  • In the old days, the institute of marriage was rarely about love and passion, but about safety, respect and security. The husband or the wife had reasons to stray from their bond, due to the lack of mystery, love, passion and excitement that they craved.
  • Modern love is further complicating the phenomenon of marriage, where it almost always fails to live up to the promised ideals of love, passion, undivided attention and purity.

Marriage would ideally mean that our chosen one would offer us stability, safety, dependability and predictability. Apart from the laundry list of perfection, it is also an expectation to provide mystery, adventure, awe and wonder.

The wedding band comes with the weight of anticipations, of being ten different people and keeping the show going, juggling the various balls of expectations. If one ball falls, the marriage breaks down.

  1. Studies show that people with more social resources, who can talk to a wide range of friends about the issues they face, are better in their marriage.
  2. One need not think of love as a disposable commodity, and has to work on a relationship by investing time and energy.
  3. One has to be patient and work towards making the expectations become reality, together.
The positive impact of forgiveness

Forgiving someone can reduce our stress levels, risk of heart disease and mental illness. It can prevent cognitive decline in later life, help you earn more money, and be happier.

Forgiveness is part of every culture, but how we choose to offer forgiveness are affected by our cultures and our personal psychologies.

Individualists use forgiveness to relieve a burden and clear their conscience while collectivists use forgiveness to preserve social harmony, even if the individual still feels resentment towards their transgressor.

Western countries like the US or the UK tend to have more individualistic cultures, meaning personal gain is put before helping the wider group. In collectivistic cultures like Asia and Africa, the group is put first.

  • Decisional forgiveness is colder, cognitive, and analytical. The collectivist is concerned with what is the best thing for everyone else.
  • Emotional forgiveness is offered to satisfy an emotional need and is more common in individualistic people.

The separate types of forgiveness are sometimes used to explain the difference between collectivistic and individualistic approaches.

  • In many languages, "forgiveness" does not translate well. Ghana, for example, has more than 50 languages, which makes choosing a definition for "forgiveness" tricky.
  • It is normal for a younger person in Ghana to offer forgiveness to an older person and hide their annoyance, even if the older person is at fault.
  • With couples in Ghana, an act of forgiveness is accompanied by physical gestures, such as kneeling, prostrating, clasping their hands. Simply saying sorry is not enough.
  • Chinese cultures are not used to the term 'forgiveness'. Translated into Mandarin Chinese, [kuānshù] is quite formal and gives the impression that the committed offence was very serious.

It is then important to be considerate of other people's differences, whether it is a result of their culture or worldview.

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