The fires in New Mexico are nothing to joke about. Especially when you consider the fact that so many people are being torn from their homes and thrown in to forced life changes.
Home evacuations with the fear of losing everything are on one end of the New Mexico fires fear-of-loss continuum. On the other end of the New Mexico fires fear-of-loss continuum are the losses of everything due to homes that have actually burned to the ground.
There are many ways to view this fear-of-loss continuum. Another perspective is that on one end of it people are faced with the fear of being forced to let go. On the other end of this fear-of-loss continuum people are literally being forced to let go of their current way of living. Either way, the emotional, psychological, and physiological impacts are great and devastating.
How does one deal with being on the the fear-of-loss continuum?
It is hard to even imagine losing everything. It is also hard to know what exactly to say and do to support someone who has lost everything. But one must start somewhere, and below is my honest, genuine, and meaningful attempt to offer considerations of support. Since I am action oriented and tend to move toward situations head on, I offer the following actions for consideration.
If you are supporting someone who is currently living life somewhere along this fear-of-loss continuum due to the New Mexico fires, perhaps the following will be helpful for you, as you support them.
For the home owners who have to evacuate,
but their homes have not been burned – one of the most important activities for them to participate in is planning. If possible, rise above the fear of the unknown and put energy in to planning for the possibility of loss. This may help shift the focus from fear – to – hope.
Strangely enough, planning for the possibility of loss may help to shift the focus from the unknown to what can be managed in the present. It is called living in the moment. Oddly enough, planning could also help with the process of accepting and acknowledging what may become an inevitable experience.
For the home owners who have lost everything in the New Mexico fires,
Consider this >>> 1. Accept Help 2. Don’t Blame 3. Live In Today
- Accept help from others without judgement
- Don’t blame yourself for the loss – it was totally out of your control
- Don’t blame family members (and others) for the loss – it was out of their control as well
- Keep in mind – this was not only your loss, but your family as well – therefore honor their feelings as you honor yours
- Try very hard not to take out your frustrations on your family and others
- Your life is today. Be willing to bring together your family and go through some kind of process in which you literally say “good-bye” to your belongings and past life. Often, saying good-bye with a kind of ritualistic process will help with healing and spiritually make space for the new path on which you are being forced to embark
- Allow yourself to go through the process of grieving the loss of your past life.
- Finally, give yourself time to heal.
More to come…
Darren L Johnson
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