After a devastating loss, holding on to memories can lead to being stuck in wanting things the way they were. How do we consciously move from sinking into depression to having a hopeful outlook? Let’s look at some steps on the way to more acceptance and peace.

It’s difficult to think of something good when you’ve been dealt a devastating blow. It can even feel disloyal to dare have some feelings of hope. Yet, hoping for better times and saying it out loud can be a step out of feeling victimized. Remembering that you can’t change what happened but can change how you are feeling about it leads to positive thinking.

Having an intention for a better tomorrow and giving yourself permission to move out of depression is a first step.

Ask yourself, “What do I have faith in?” What is a quality that gives you strength when you most need it? What can you count on when times are tough? Allow yourself to stay focused on your own strengths. Notice how easy it is to slip into thinking about how you counted on the person who is no longer there for you. This circular thinking can keep you stuck. It is critical to say your thoughts out loud, or write them, or better yet, talk to a person adept at listening who understands grief and loss.

Faith in something outside of ourselves can be a powerful force for healing a broken heart. It can also lead to pretending you’re OK by using your mind to suppress difficult feelings, sticky emotions like shame and guilt.

In order to have the power to choose healing, we must be able to first tell the truth to someone who can listen without an agenda, without judging or advising us as they listen. We need the help of someone who has a healing way of leading and walking beside us in the journey toward recovery and a hopeful outlook.