I’d like to share an article with you that I have found helpful in describing our collective experience right now. In it, Pauline Boss, PhD is cited for the concept of “…ambiguous loss: any loss that’s unclear and lacks resolution”. This includes the loss of life, employment, connection and lifestyle resulting from the pandemic. As the fires ravage the western states of the U.S., we experience more loss of life, in addition to the losses of property, wilderness, breathable air and innocence about the realities of environmental degradation. And still, the losses of everyday life continue on as if we didn’t already have enough to deal with.
If you are experiencing a lack of motivation and a general malaise right now, ambiguous loss may help to describe and prescribe for you. Steps to rebounding include the acceptance of the difficult reality of our current situation, prioritization of self-care and connection, and perhaps most importantly, going easy on yourself. This isn’t about pushing through. Loss and grief require a pause. Tenderness is the balm for our collective grief.