Using Life Hacks and Hope For Optimal Healing

emily dickinson quote | Dianna Bonny Photography

I don’t know if you’ve noticed the trend of life hacks in articles and blogs lately. We are a society in search of experiential maximization and short cuts for sleep, weight loss, productivity, working out and brain power, just to name a few.

While I appreciate the gist of the hacker way of thinking, I don’t think everything in life necessarily lends itself to shortcuts. It would be nice if that were true, but some things rely on time for optimization.

When I first started out as a blogger I was repeatedly told to distill my experience down into a few simple steps. “There must be three things you did that got you through suicide loss,” people said. This seemed rather crude to me, so I steadfastly resisted this advice.

The path I am on didn’t follow a linear trajectory and my first step might be someone else’s tenth. How on earth could I distill it down into a few steps? Of course there are patterns and steps one will most likely follow, but I have never been able to definitively plant my flag and say, “Here is the road map. Go from A to B to C, and voila, you will be healed.”

The wisdom one gains on a journey to make sense of suicide loss, or any loss for that matter, is not something you just “get” one day. For me, it has been something I have had to claim after deep contemplation and struggle and surrender.

Contrary to the hacker view on life, this requires time.

It often means experiencing yourself for the first time, over and over, with deep compassion. It means we must constantly be redefining who we are and who we are not. It is a process of clearing out and rearranging, discarding old worn out ideas and bringing in the new.

It is slowly letting go of the darkness to make room for the light so that moments of joy and bliss can slip through.

A friend of mine recently pointed out how fortunate we are in this day and age to even have the ability to want to be happy. To contemplate such a thing is a fairly new phenomenon. My grandparents weren’t obsessed with their happiness. “For god’s sake, who needed happy, we needed food on the table,” is what I’m sure they would say to me about all of this, if they were alive today.

To have the luxury of awareness and enlightenment, as well as being able to actually pay attention to our desires, is an incredible gift. To live in a time where I can contemplate that I feel good when I do one thing over another, and then prioritize my life accordingly, is utterly sublime.

The happiness I feel today is the result of many actions but primarily, I believe, because I allowed myself to struggle. Just like the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly, the struggle to re-emerge is crucial. Without it, a new entity cannot appear.

I know happy now because I also know despair. When I have moments of true bliss, they emanate from my experiences of pain, and I live in a state of utter appreciation for being able to experience both ends of the spectrum.

So, while I haven’t figured out how to hack my way into healing after loss, I suppose the only shortcut I might be able to conjure up is simply this: the only way out is through, and spending time figuring out what makes you feel whole and good and right, will create that path.

Oh, perhaps there is one other healing hack that will, at the very least, give your pain meaning and connect you to something bigger. When something bad happens, do not let go of it until you have discovered the lesson. There are always lessons buried in the ruins.

As painful as this place of healing can be, I encourage you to have hope and keep showing up for the goodness.

If you have any healing hacks you’ve discovered along the way, I’d love it if you would share.

Sending love and light,


Who is Dianna Bonny?

Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.

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