A woman was shopping when an adorable little statue caught her eye. It was fun, and she had to have it! Once at home, she examined the purchase more closely and realized it was a metaphor for her life. She had bought a “Woo” doll, and the attached tag read:

“The Woo is a benevolent force reappearing to remind us that a POSITIVE attitude is essential and that anything IS possible. Make it happen!”

In the game of life, this woman had been dealt cards from both sides of the deck. Today, she leads a fulfilling life overflowing with friends and family. She has a rewarding career and enough leisure time to enjoy herself. However, she has suffered many losses as well, for her husband and two sons passed away within a relatively short time of each other. Each time, she pondered how she would come to accept such unbearable sorrow. Often, she also questioned if her well of strength would ever run dry.

The truth is, inside each of us is a never-ending supply of Spirit that allows recovery from despair. Here’s the catch -- you have to make a conscious decision to discover and utilize your own restorative powers. Additionally, make sure to afford yourself the time to move forward -- rather than remaining stuck in the mire of grief and loss.

At first, anger will move you through the cloud of distress – your anger at the loved one who has passed on; your anger at the world; and your anger at yourself for not being mentally prepared for the loss of life as you knew it. Anger propels you forward with a purpose, which allows you to deal with the business of life in order to forge a new normalcy for yourself and your remaining family members.

Eventually, you must resolve that anger and come to accept your new life. This new life is not better or worse – just different. You must begin to let laughter and light break through your cloud of doom. And in so doing, the wonders of the world are illuminated once again. This time, however, you are infinitely more aware of the preciousness of each moment.

Having a positive attitude like the “Woo doll” does not mean you are full of light and sunshine all of the time. Instead, despite the woeful situation in which you may find yourself, it is always possible to see a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Tunneling your way through hard times -- not around them or over them -- is what really builds your spiritual muscles. It’s also what ultimately keeps the smile on your face and the flicker of light in your heart!

Author's Bio: 

Ellen Gerst is the author of "A Practical Guide To Widow/erhood". Born out of Ellen's own experiences as a young widow, "A Practical Guide" provides suggestions to help a griever to re-adjust each aspect of his/her life without his/her loved one. Ellen has also written two books for grieving children, as well as co-authored a book on spirituality with Melinda Vail, the Southwest's leading intuitive therapist.