Loss and grief are natural parts of being human
We all lose people we love through separation or death;
We all experience failure and disillusionment and lose sight of cherished dreams;
We all learn, at one time or another, to cope with and manage changes in our bodies, deteriorating health in ourselves and our loved ones;
We all face ageing and the approach of our own dying;
We are all, at times, overwhelmed and broken hearted by unwanted changes in our world, the destruction of nature, wars and social injustice;
And, for those on a conscious spiritual path, losing illusions about the self and throwing off outworn identities is intrinsic to the path, a sign of progress – and very challenging!
Our culture encourages us to avoid grief – and there’s a big cost to this avoidance
It takes time and conscious intent to grieve well. Grief unfolds in its own time and, in our busy western world, there is little understanding of death, dying, loss and grief. Our culture is not very allowing of the grieving process, or of emotions in general, and the need for the quiet introspection healing requires may be judged as self-indulgent. Other than the funeral, we have no cultural rituals to celebrate death as a natural part of the life cycle. Even talking about death is often regarded as morbid and, for many people, the expression of strong emotions is seen as a shameful weakness to be hidden away in private.
Have you ever stopped to wonder what happens to all those strong emotions of grief when you push them aside? Where does all that energy go?
Although grief and loss are natural and inevitable parts of being human, which we all share, sadly, most people don’t have the necessary tools, understandings and support to fully open to grief and move through the process to completion. The consequences of neglecting or avoiding the deeply hurting self are considerable and can even be life threatening. Whenever you attempt to suppress the pain of grieving and turn back the tide of emotions, you contract the body and literally harden the heart. The energy of grief has nowhere to go and becomes trapped and stored in the cells where it silently wreaks havoc with your physical, emotional and mental health. Life involves many losses, and whatever has not been released and completed, piles on top of the last unexamined grief, making it even harder to approach, so you avoid it and stuff it all down even more. Many of the major diseases of our time – heart disease, cancer, diabetes, eating disorders, addictions of all kinds – have their origins in unprocessed emotions and grief. That’s how important this is.
If you are carrying unprocessed grief it is preventing you from embracing life fully and moving forward wholeheartedly to create the life you want.
It doesn’t have to be this way!
Taking time to sit with yourself and grieve well can transform grief into a gift
When you decide to become your own best friend and healer, and meet your grief and losses fully, giving yourself time to accept and integrate them, suffering is transformed into a deepening of the self and an acceptance of what it means to be human. This in turn renders the gifts of love, acceptance, forgiveness, compassion and grace and a renewed and strengthened meaning and purpose.
Imagine how your grieving process might be different if you felt 100% confident that:
- Through times of emotional intensity, the more you sit with yourself, the more you will realise, everything you experience in grief is “normal”, “o.k” and widely shared as part of being human. You are not “crazy”, “sick” or shameful when you feel deeply. In fact, feeling deeply is the key to successful grieving and successful living.
- Grief offers a wonderful opportunity to become more aware of mental patterns that have been limiting you for a lifetime, such as self-criticism and self-doubt, and to transform these into acceptance, forgiveness and compassion.
- As you pay attention to, and learn to trust the deep wisdom and healing power of the self, you become more aware of how you need to nurture yourself to maintain your well-being and you become your own best healer.
- As you recognise grieving fully is essential for well-being, you develop the skills to move through grief with love and acceptance, taking all the time and rest you need. You begin to co-operate with the process of transformation rather than resisting it. Then your innate wisdom carries you forward toward renewed energy and passion for life.
- Paradoxically, it is when you feel at your most vulnerable, that you start to contact your real strength. During the grieving process, there will be times when you simply don’t recognize yourself. Healing may appear in new and unfamiliar ways but, because you have chosen to fully show up for yourself by sitting with whatever arises in your experience, giving it space and listening deeply to the messages it holds for you, every step you take from now on, will be on a much firmer foundation.
- As you become more skilled at being present with whatever you are experiencing in the grieving process, and able to notice and name ever more subtle emotional states, you breathe fresh air into your experience and open to more enlightened perspectives. Although the journey remains challenging you grow ever more confident that you can and will reach the light at the end of the tunnel.
- Learning the common symptoms of shock and trauma, along with simple practices you can do daily to support yourself, you begin to heal not only from this loss but from all your previous losses.
Learning to grieve well really does provide you with a tool box for living well.
Hello, I’m Rose Diamond,
Six months ago, if anyone had told me I would be feeling passionate about the transformational possibilities in death, loss and grieving, I would have found that difficult to believe. But now, after a deep and challenging journey with death over the last two years, I know grieving fully and well holds the key, not only for individual transformation, but for a positive life enhancing shift in our culture. With four decades of experience as a whole person psychotherapist and educator, I work as a Soul Work Guide and hold a space in which you can connect with your own wisdom, healing intelligence and authentic power.