Do not be afraid of change. Change forces you to grow and, hopefully, become a better, more fully developed person.

It is you who will decide how your grief will affect your life. On one hand, you can sink deep into your grief and never see that there is still life going on around you -- life in which you can participate. On the other hand, you can be proactive in adjusting to your new circumstances and see all the positive things around you.

As I’ve mentioned previously, I married at the very young age of twenty. My late husband and I were very similar, and, as the years passed, we grew together to be one unit. We also worked harmoniously in business together and still wanted to spend time with each other when we got home! Because we enjoyed being with each other so much, we really didn’t feel the need to include others. Of course, we did socialize some, but mostly we spent our leisure time together and with our children. Due to this fact, after his death I encountered many big changes to which I had to adapt. I lost so many things and on so many levels.

So how do you conquer your fear, and what are the first steps to take when attempting to change your life? I think it all rests in your attitude.

“The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace that day. We cannot change our past. … We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.” (Charles R. Swindoll, Pastor, Author and Educator)

Having an “I can” mind-set and learning to be positive in your thought processes will carry you a long way.

Try tucking the word “NO” away for a little bit and learn to say ”YES” to:
~ new experiences of all sorts
~meeting new people
~moving towards realizing your dreams and aspirations
~working towards the things you’ve always wanted to do but were previously afraid to try
~going new, and perhaps exotic, places
~supportive and powerful thoughts that help you create rather than limit you
~planning effectively while still being open to the unexpected
~listening to your intuition

When you combine saying YES with letting go of any expectations and not being attached to the outcome of each experience, the results are usually spectacular. For without expectation of a particular result, one can always find the good in any situation. Remember, your perception of the event will also dictate how you respond to the circumstances with which you are presented. Try to surrender to the moment and be like Mohammed Ali and “float like a butterfly” into success, rather than trying too hard and making a mistake because of over-the-top efforts. The best gift you can give yourself is to allow your loss to set you free from a life of “I can’t” and set you down on the road of “I can do it.”

Ellen Gerst, a Life Coach who specializes in grief and relationships, is the author of several books on grief, including A Practical Guide To Widow/erhood, born out of Ellen's own experiences as a young widow; 101 Tips and Thoughts on Coping with Grief, an easy-to-read reference guide filled with suggestions for every day use on moving forward through the grief journey; and Love After Loss: Writing The Rest of Your Story. "Love After Loss" is a blueprint on how to use her successful method to redesign your life to include a new love connection after the loss of a partner. Join the conversation on Facebook for Love After Loss. Click for more information and to order grief related services and books.

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