When we have lost someone we love, our job, our health, our marriage, or our deepest relationship, we want to feel some compassion coming our way. We want to know that we are going to make it.

Here are some ways for your body, your mind, and your spirit to meet every day with renewed compassion for yourself to help you make it through the night.

For Your Body ~
First let's have a definition of compassion which is simply an awareness of suffering, whether our own or another's, and working toward alleviating it. Have you treated your body with compassion? Or have you starved yourself or fed yourself more salt, sugar, fat and alcohol than your body needed. I like to ask myself, compassionately, "What are you really hungry for MJ; what are you really starving for?" If it's love, I seek loving people to connect with, people who are affectionate in speech, touch and behavior. If I'm hungry for laughter, I seek funny, witty people so I can laugh and play, too. If I need intellectual food, I find others who enjoy that source of nourishment.

Grief is exhausting so rest often after your loss and don't feel guilty doing so; your body needs sleep. It needs to heal.

For Your Mind~
Have you treated your mind with compassion? After a loss it is particularly important to be cognizant of this. When others ask you to do something that you don't want to do or don't feel up to doing, how often do you say "yes" then feel resentful afterward? How about if you always say "no" no matter what someone asks of you, and then wonder why no one calls you anymore.

Compassion for your mind is opening up your thinking to new ways of being, new ways of responding to others. As a grief specialist (both clinically and personally) I appreciate how the manner in which we were raised impacts our saying yes or no. Raised with many restrictions, you may fall into saying no more often than yes. On the other hand, raised to please everyone you may automatically respond with yes which will eventually burn you out.

After loss, even the loss of the life you thought you would have, offer your mind compassion. Touch it with the words of sages and saints, the biographies of inspirational people. Read from the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, the Bhagavad-Gita, and the Buddha-Dharma. Watch documentaries, programs and movies about people who have met overwhelming adversary and treated that imposter no differently than they would treat a friend.

And speaking of friends, talk to them when sadness and fear feels overwhelming. Not only will you feel better, your friend will be more comfortable calling upon you when they are grieving.

For Your Spirit~
Have you treated your spirit with compassion? Reflect now, for after loss your spirit is searching more overtly for answers. Indulge your seeker self. Walk in the park, the woods, a labyrinth, the beach, any sacred pathway. As you walk, pray, breathe, meditate. When we have had a loss, we need to ask ourselves what loving or knowing this other person, whom we have lost, gave to us. Then we make the gift ours to honor them.

I regard everyone and every situation in my life as a teacher - positive or negative. Every person living or deceased has helped me to learn what to be and what not to be. I've come to understand that most people do the best they can given their experiences, their genes, their psychological consciousness, and their personal gifts. Using every situation as a learning experience has also taught me the value of being grateful for everything that I have and given me a chance to make Every Day Matter. It will for you, too.

Author's Bio: 

Mary Jane Hurley Brant, M.S., CGP is a grief specialist who writes for several internet sites as an expert on grief. Her book, When Every Day Matters: A Mother’s Memoir on Love, Loss and Life was published October 1, 2008, by Simple Abundance Press. Foreign rights (English language) are with St. Pauls's in Mumbai, India.

MJ has a private practice in Bryn Mawr, PA. Visit her site www.WhenEveryDayMatters.com