DisToday’s Word: ‘Dis—“ as in… ‘Man, did I get ‘dissed’ on that or what?

Let’s take a quick look at the five “disses” of the Ending Stage.

First, dis-engagement means to break with a familiar social pattern. It involves acknowledging that ties between people, structures and present roles are loosening. Disengagement is a frequent theme in ancient and modern stories: Jesus journeys forty-days in the wilderness. Harry Potter leaves home for Hogwarts. It is the part of an ending where we most experience loss.

Second, dis-mantling is the process of taking apart old mind-sets, habits, past behaviors and practices one piece at a time.

Third, we experience dis-identification through the loss of our old understanding of who we are.

Fourth, dis-enchantment involves the growing acceptance that the reality in which we blindly trusted is, in some crucial respect, false. Discovering the truth about Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy, Easter Bunny, or when you discover that a leader, a lover, a best friend, a spouse, is not who you thought they were.

Fifth, dis-orientation is the disruption of the status quo when suddenly our orientation is altered. We feel like a vessel bobbing on the water without compass or star sightings. We don’t know where we are and we don’t know if we’re ever going to go somewhere ever again.

I watched all five of these movements happen in my dad’s life when my mom died in 2006. The following twelve months were an example of complete powerlessness. There was depression, denial, anger, listlessness, and confusion. A critical step in his healing process was first accepting the fact that something ended; it was the end of a 62 year-long companionship with the woman he’d known since junior high. He had to acknowledge that before he could begin to accept the new idea.

No easy task at all. This took much time.

If we don’t acknowledge the emotions that we’re going through, we’ll likely encounter resistance throughout the entire change process.

But this is a leap. This is a gigantic leap. This is a leap of faith.

More to come!


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