MYTH: The pain will go away faster if you ignore it.
Fact: Trying to ignore your pain or keep it from surfacing will only make it worse in the long run. In order to fully heal and move forward in life, you have to face your grief head on and actively deal with it. In Michele’s book Stirred Not Shaken, she takes readers through four essential steps of resilient transformation for a better today and a stronger tomorrow.
MYTH: It is important to be “strong” or “tough it out” in the face of adversity.
Fact: Having powerful emotions—like feeling sad, frightened, lonely, or empty—is a natural reaction to challenge or loss. Crying doesn’t mean you are weak. Suppressing emotions doesn’t make them go away. And putting on a “brave face” or playing “the hero” in order to protect your friends or family doesn’t help you to heal. A big part of resilience is about acknowledging how you feel, and allowing your emotions to come and go, always monitoring their effects.
MYTH: If you don’t cry, it means you are not sorry about the loss.
Fact: Crying is a natural response to sadness; in fact, its purpose is positive: crying helps to rid toxins from your body. But this is by no means the only healthy response.
MYTH: If you can’t sort out your problems on your own, it means that you are weak or fragile or have a dependency problem.
Fact: We all need time on our own to sort through and reflect upon difficult experiences. But “going it alone” is a straight shot to failure. Resilience is fostered specifically by supportive relationships. Increasingly, research shows that reaching out and letting others in is absolutely crucial in affecting whether a person is or is not able to rebound from a difficult situation.
MYTH: Grief should last about a year.
Fact: Grief is not an illness you recover from, rather it’s a process of transformation not bound by time. There is no right or wrong schedule for grieving. How long it takes varies from person to person and the nature of the experience.