Equipped - Being Essentially Equipped for Your Journey

personal development Dec 14, 2022

The last but not least key to going from surviving to thriving on this journey after grief and loss is the ‘E’ of Grace which is being essentially equipped for the journey ahead. How many of you love to travel and go to new places seeking out new fun adventures. I know I love to travel, and I hope to travel much more in my time here on earth. I want to cross off the long lists of travel bucket items. 

I know there are different ways of tackling getting ready for a trip. You could take it as it comes and be a fly by the seat of your pants type person. Like you just grab a bag and throw it in the car and go. On the other hand you could be more like me and be a planner. I’m an uber, uber planner. 

Either way if you like to travel we all need stuff for our trips and the journey we take so we are ready for the adventures we will find. We all need a way to get there. We all need a place to stay once we have arrived where we are going. We need clothes, shoes, a jacket, and bedding and we have to have a bag or suitcase to pack to put all this stuff in. When we need food and drinks while on our trip but also on the way to our trip. When we are on our way traveling to our destination, we have to either have tickets for our flight or train ride or gasoline for the car. We might be renting a car once we arrive. We often want, I know I do, food and drinks for the ride or flight. 

Also having some entertainment is awesome to make the trip fun. Nothing like a good road trip mix for the drive. In addition to all these things, we also need some tools such as our phone and chargers, a map or directions so that we can know where we are going and how to get there. We might also want to consider if we are camping all the tools and equipment we will need to enjoy God’s nature. We might want to consider having a medical kit and a spare tire in case of emergency. Traveling goes much smoother and is more fun when we have all these things. I know I prefer to be planned, prepared and ready for anything. 

While it is true that we can’t prepare for all things, anyone who has traveled knows that unexpected things pop up. Some would say that’s part of the fun of the adventure and it's just part of what it is to travel. Just as it goes in traveling, so goes it as we travel through life on each of our journeys. We can’t plan or be prepared for any and everything that will find us in life. I would imagine that most if not each and everyone of us who have or are traveling through the journey of grief and loss would without a doubt say this was unexpected and I’m not prepared for this nor could have planned for this. 

If that is in fact true as I suspect that is it, I know it was for me. In some ways and on some days I still feel unprepared for this journey and what comes with it. The question then becomes what now, what are you and I to do and how are you and I to do it since there is absolutely know way we are or could have planned or prepared ourselves for this journey of grief and loss. Because I’m a planner I don’t do well at all or handle not being prepared, planned, and not having my ducks in a row. But with this there is no way to do that. In addition to this, how do we figure out this journey and how to travel and continue doing so after loss and grief. 

I may not have all the answers but this I know to be true and what has worked for me and how it has served me all through my life during Disability, Divorce, and now Death along my journey of 38DDD. Just as earlier in my life, while you can’t be prepared for everything, the better prepared you are and the more resources or tools you have the better you are equipped for whatever may come yours and my way in life. This learned life lesson is fundamental and essential to this journey of grief. It isn’t any less true in the journey of grief than in life that in order to travel this journey well and go from surviving to thriving we must equip ourselves and do so well. 

As you travel your own journeys of grief and loss you may be wondering what tools do I need or what are the tools that I need to help travel through this journey of grief and loss. How will I figure this out? Where do I find these tools to get the help I need? The tools that I will discuss in the next few paragraphs are the tools that I know are essential because these are the tools that I have and continue to use. These are the resources that have helped and are still helping me on my own journey through loss and grief. 

Part of the tools and resources that are essential for this journey are found in the previous things we talked about in the last four chapters of the ‘G’, ‘R’, ’A’, and ‘C’ of grace. You and I need our faith, a strong foundation to stand on and hold too. You and I need to choose to be our own redesigners and redefine and redirect our life’s course. You and I need to learn to live in the mindset of abundance. Each of us also needs to choose and develop the habits of care for ourselves by doing self care. The ‘E’ of grace is being essentially equipped so the next thing to gather is not just these tools and resources but the next several tools we need to add to our toolbox and our prep for this journey. In doing this each of us will have what we need to implement to take action and the steps on this journey through grief and loss so that we go from surviving to thriving. 

The first tool I would say is absolutely needed is courage. To travel this journey and to not just survive it but thrive after grief and loss one must have courage and be courageous. Courage is essential. It takes courage to keep holding strong, having faith and holding on, and to keep going. It takes great courage to choose a new path and direction for your life. It takes courage to make the decision to dare to redesign your life and design a new path for your life now by redefining and redirecting you and your life on this new journey. 

Also It takes courage sometimes to workout though maybe mindsets that are holding you back. It could be that there are mindsets that are trapping you and in changing that mindset you will free yourself from being stuck. It takes courage to have a change in your mindset or have a shift in mindset that will help you have a breakthrough so that you can strive to thrive and just survive on your journey. Our mindset can open doors and is a game changer. Learning to live in an abundant mindset takes courage and can change your direction in life or the course you take as you travel your journey. 

Moreover it takes courage to set boundaries to allow for time for yourself to take the time to care for you. Furthermore, to do so without worry, concern, or guilt. Putting one first at times and standing up for yourself to do that can be hard so that takes courage too. This leads right into the second tool for our toolbox or belt is vulnerability or being vulnerable. This is so hard for most and also takes courage. The reason why vulnerability is so essential is so that we can work through our grief and loss and that only comes from when we are open and face it all in our grief. Yes it’s hard, messy, complex, complicated, no fun, and unwanted. But it’s in doing this most courageous thing in choosing to be vulnerable we can find our way back, start to heal, and work toward thriving on our journey. 

Another part of being vulnerable is asking for help. I think it is the part that for so many makes it so hard to be vulnerable to the feelings they may get when they ask for help. I know for me I had to get over or pass this a long time ago growing up with a disability, but I know for others it's not so easy or simple. I have often thought about this and said when we were all in school if we had a question then we just raised our hand and asked. It is much the same when needing something or help. Just ask. We can’t do anything about some things until we get what we need or change it. Oftentimes that comes from asking for what we need and for help. 

Something other things to consider when you ask for help. Yes, asking for help and being vulnerable takes courage. Simply just having courage itself and being vulnerable is hard and scary. Nothing is easy about this journey you and I are traveling. It's all hard, messy, complex, complicated and scary. But in having courage, vulnerability and being courageous and vulnerable one can find freedom. 

Freedom to be okay with asking for what you need, having the help you need so that you and I can be equipped to travel this journey in the freedom to grow, learn, heal, to embrace what is to be shaped by this journey. In doing these things, being courageous, vulnerable, asking for help, and seeking out the tools and resources that you need for your journey will help create the roadmap you will need and use to guide along your way as you travel through your grief. Take the tools you gained through the lessons and letters of finding grace through grief while also the tools of having courage, vulnerability, and asking for help so that you can travel your journey well not just survive but to strive to thrive. 

I know for me and my own journey these are some of the tools I have had, continue to use, and will keep doing as I continue to travel my own journey. For me it will be first and foremost my faith and my beliefs that create a strong and firm foundation for me to stand on and hold to and it keeps me steady and strong. I hold to my tribe of fabulous friends that help to love, support, carry, and encourage me and walk with me along my journey. I have and always will even now choose to dare to be my own designer and not be defined by my circumstances but to define it and my life for myself. Although this is the harder one, in my opinion, to choose to have and keep a mindset of abundance. Without a doubt I absolutely strongly advocate and I am a proponent of self care. I absolutely take time for myself. I have to do self care on this journey or else I would not be able to survive it. 

These are things that have gone into what I have essentially equipped myself with to help travel my journey well. Moreover, in each of these things there are several areas and ways that I have been able to implement each of these resources as tools in the toolbox to hopefully shape my own roadmap to guide me on my journey. Without a doubt in collecting these tools to add to my tool belt it has and still does take courage. In my willingness to be vulnerable and asking for help and able to continue and keep traveling this journey. 

I go to counseling and it’s my lifeline. I have my church and various groups through my church.  I went to Griefshare and highly recommend it. I talk when I need to talk but I also, as I call it, I turtle or pull back when I need to. I have and am still learning the balance of the two. I heavily rely on my friends. I go out to eat, get girl time, and go on some girl trips/getaways when I can. I know when I do these things I’m able to be and give the best version of myself and to do it for my babies. My toolbox is deep I go on but these are just some of what I have used and will keep using as I continue to travel this journey. 

In your own journey as you travel it, what tools do you think you need? What resources could you use or add to your toolbox? Which things would serve you well and enable you to keep traveling your journey. Create your own tool box with the resources and tools that can equip you and help shape your own road map to guide you on and through your journey as you travel it. In having the toolbox made up the resources that will be served you will set up with a road map that can direct on your course in life. In following this road map you will know where to go and what direction to go to start learning to work toward not just surviving but striving to thrive. If you discover the keys found in Finding Grace you will have the keys to unlock the doors on your journey and that will give you the tools you need to keep traveling and find your way from surviving to thriving in life and on your journey

Michaela S. Cox TEDx 

Thriving: Open the Door Leave Survival Behind