“There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
Losing something important like a job can feel like a devastating blow, leaving us feeling lost and alone. The pain and sadness that accompany such a loss can be overwhelming, and cause us to struggle with daily life. However, it’s important to remember that even in the darkest moments, there is always a glimmer of hope. As Leonard Cohen sang, “There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
Grieving after a job loss
This type of loss puts us in a state where we feel like everything we once knew and relied on has disappeared, leaving a void that feels impossible to fill. It is essential to recognize that losing something important like a job is also a form of grieving. It requires from us to process the situation, deal with the circumstances that are changing and learn to reorganize our life accordingly. Sometimes it even demands redefining ourselves. It is therefore perfectly natural to experience feelings of sadness, anger, and confusion when we no longer have what has been valuable to us, like a job we cared about.
As a psychologist, in my therapeutic work I apply the methodologies that can help people deal with the challenges of loss, grief, and bereavement. But I have not expected I will be in need to apply them just before the long-awaited holidays last year.
A couple of months ago, someone very close to me was unexpectedly fired from work, and we went through a grieving process together. When I look back at that period of time, I recognize that we experienced the various stages of grief – denial, anger, bargaining, a bit of depression, and finally acceptance – and it was a powerful transformative journey that amazes me until today.
At first, it was difficult to come to terms with what had happened. The whole event was unexpected, and the news reached us a day before we left to Australia. There were many questions and uncertainties, and for a while we felt lost and unsure about what the future held. We have had big plans for the coming year, and for a little while a job loss was like a threat to all of it. It was a disruption my friend has not seen coming. That holiday was definitely not like I expected, but it was very special. The time away together, in the nature, was like a healing journey towards what heart desires. And that journey continued after we returned home. As we progressed through the stages of grief, we spent more time together and we were able to reorganize our lives and find new meaning and purpose.
My friend was able to reframe the situation and see it as an opportunity for growth and development. He explored new career paths and focused on building relationships and connections that aligned with his values and aspirations. He invested his time to help more vulnerable people and realized he can be in a good place again. And the door of opportunities opened up.
With a little support, my friend was able to uncover any negative thought patterns that were holding him back from seeing new possibilities. He learned to embrace the lessons and gifts that the situation presented to him, and he built new habits and strategies that supported his goals.
As a result, he was able to approach the situation in a positive and empowered way. He found the light in the cracks and emerged from the darkness with a greater sense of clarity and hope. It was a powerful transformative journey that showed us both the resilience and strength that we are capable of.
In the end, it really can be that what happens to us, happens for us. And even a job loss, as painful as it can be, can appear to be the best thing that has occurred to us. I truly believe that if we learn to accept the change, appreciate what we had but also see the benefits this movement brings in our life, it can become even an upgrade. Maybe the new situation creates space for something better to emerge? Maybe it can be an opportunity to reflect on what really brings us joy at work? I trust that if we enter the space of gratitude for what we had and learn something from it, without beating ourselves up for not having the old “it” anymore, we can get something even better in return.
“The wound is the place where the light enters you”
Losing a job, and losing something important in our lives, can be a painful and difficult experience that triggers a grieving process in us. Yet I truly believe, and have experienced it myself, that by reorganizing our lives and finding new meaning and purpose, we can emerge from the darkness with a greater sense of clarity and hope.
With a support of a caring person or a therapist, we can find the light in the cracks and move forward with strength and resilience. Stronger and better than ever before. And by sharing our stories and experiences, we can inspire others to find their own light and transform their lives for the better.
In the words of the poet Rumi, “The wound is the place where the light enters you.” Our wounds and losses can be the catalysts for growth and transformation, if we allow ourselves to be open to the possibilities that they present.