Shutting down is a natural response right after grief. It's literally the "correct" response from our bodies because it allows us to process what is already hard enough to handle - the truth of the loss. And yet we must not remain shut down, or closed off because then we live "half alive". Yet we can get stuck in shut down after loss and inadvertently life "half alive".
Living half alive creates a different kind of suffering than loss does, but suffering nonetheless. It's a kind of suffering that we might be able to manage more easily, because it feels easier after being hit by "the big loss".
Are you half alive? Stuck in shut down or partially shut down? How do you know if you're living half alive?
Maybe you feel like you're settling
Maybe you feel only muted emotions
Maybe you have trouble really feeling love or joy
Maybe you're bored or disinterested in general
Maybe you're causing/living in chaos or drama to feel alive
Maybe you wonder - what's the point?
Maybe you feel disappointed again and again
There are as many maybes as there are people. What is your version of living half alive? How have you shut down in some way?
When we are afraid of loss, we subconsciously organize life to avoid the possibility of loss and then we simultaneously avoid the possibility of great joy and fulfillment.
If you haven't yet learned the skills of grieving and moving through loss consciously and well, make this your year to do it. And don't try to do it alone! It's a recipe for continued avoidance. If you have recently experienced a loss, your work is to feel the feelings and find the proper support. Allow yourself the time you need to hurt and move through the pain at your pace. Building your emotional muscles is what is needed and that's how you'll do it.