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Surviving Loss by SoaringTM

Journey of Hearts™ was designed to be a Healing Place with resources and support to help those in the grief process following a loss or a significant life change. Education is one of the best ways to understand the grief response and aide people in recovering from loss. This website contains a variety of different Grief AIDEs to help in the education process including information, techniques for coping, resources, and links to other websites. Grief AIDEs help people understand and work through the grief process following a loss, how to survive present and past losses and how to cope when old losses become felt anew, or new losses occur.

Soaring™ is offered as another Grief AIDE to help in surviving a loss, be it acute or long- standing. The concept is probably best utilized in circumstances that require picking oneself up, learning how to "fly" again following a loss and restoring self-esteem and self-confidence rather than crawling around consumed by grief.

CaterpillerOne cannot be content to creep,
when one feels the impulse to SOAR.Orange Butterfly
Helen Keller

Soaring™ provides positive motivation for overcoming loss. The types of losses or crises best suited to this concept include relationship, occcupation, financial setbacks, diagnoses with long-standing medical conditions etc. These losses require that one accept and integrate the loss and recognize that their life is forever changed.

The Process - SOARING
The Soaring™ concept is based on Transitional Medicine which is designed to help a grieving person in the transformational process following a loss, going from loss through transition to reach healing. In this process of working through the grief following a loss, a person is forever changed.
(Soaring™ has been slightly revised from our original concept proposed in 1997 which incorporated some of the "Letting Go," "Moving On," "Recovering" and "Getting Over it" concepts so pervasive in grief theory during the 20th century.)

The concept can be distilled into the acronym of SOAR:™

Sensing the need. Determining it is time to change.
Opening the mind and the heart to change.
Ameliorate the Grief. Assimilating the loss.
Reconcile the loss. Releasing the pain.
Recognizing you are forever transformed.
Orange Butterfly

Working through a grief response to a loss can be challenging; it often requires drawing on internal resources and discovering sources of strength that the grieving person may have been previously unaware of their existence. One of the challenges is recognizing that there is a need to change. For many people being in the state of grief—living with past memories, remembering better times—can be comforting and become comfortable. People are resistant to change, yet loss and the resulting suffering often forces us to change:

Suffering forces us to change.
We don't like change and most of the time we fear it and fight it.
We like to remain in emotionally familiar places
even through sometimes those places are not healthy for us.
On occasion, the suffering is so great that we have to give up.
We surrender the old and begin anew.
Often it is the pain we experience that leads us, not only to a different life,
but a richer and more rewarding one.
Dennis Wholey

Significant losses or life-changing crisis force people to change. The concept of Soaring™ can provide people with a framework for transitioning through that change: Sensing the need and determining it is time to change. Opening the mind and the heart to change. Ameliorate the Grief and assimilating the loss. Reconcile the loss, releasing the pain (if possible) and finally recognizing you are forever transformed. Ultimately, the grieving person emerges from the crisis changed or reborn and transformed, as the butterfly, and stronger and victorious, as the phoenix with the ability to SOAR.™

Recognizing that loss is an instrument for change and that a person is forever changed following a loss, the focus in Transitional Medicine is on the transformation process. Crises can be viewed as a chance for self-assessment and personal growth that may force a person to critically evaluate the situation and find the opportunity frequently previously overlooked or unconsidered prior to the life-altering circumstance. It is important to remember that although grief is a powerful, universal emotion, but is most often survivable. Grieving people must recognize that they often will not "get over" grief; rather in time they learn how to integrate the loss or change into their lives and keep living. Out of the pain may come richer and more rewarding life.

People who soar are those who refuse to sit back, sigh and wish things would change.
They neither complain of their lot nor passively dream of some distant ship coming in.
Rather, they visualize in their minds that they are not quitters;
they will not allow life's circumstances to push them down and hold them under.

Charles R. Swindoll
The caterpiller is © by Maryann Sterling at Maryann's Art and used within the copyright guidelines of the artist.
See the Emergency 911 Page for links to immediate resources
if you are feeling helpless, hopeless, overwhelmingly depressed, or suicidal.

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Last update March 1, 2002