Last week I had the absolute honor to arrive at an all-day seminar that dealt with grief. I was drawn to David Kessler’s workshop, You Can Heal Your Heart: Finding Peace After Break-Ups, Divorce and Death, personally and professionally, but never imagined it would have the impact on me that it did. David illuminated the many ways we suffer when not completing a process of healing through loss, and he further defined the many ways that loss shows up in our lives.
It could be through the obvious sources like:
- The death of a loved one
- Infidelity of a partner
- The loss of a job, a home, a friend
- A beloved pet’s death
But what about those events in your life that don’t present as so obvious a loss, do they hurt or affect us any less?
- That dream you thought would come true but never did
- The direction your child’s life takes, different from the way you had imagined it
- The betrayal of a friend or family member
- Support you had hoped would be there when you needed it, but wasn’t there
He also shed light on the process of suffering and how grief is a completely different thing than suffering. We suffer when we:
- Expect things to stay the same forever
- Make assumptions about anything
- Don’t believe there is any way to heal around the loss of a loved one
- Impose judgement and insistence around someone else’s life
- Don’t truly feel our feelings
- Don’t change our thinking about love, relationships and life
David drew the distinction between those complicated feelings of pain, versus the healing power of grief. Grieving is this blessed experience when you move through the stages of loss:
His words make a lot of sense to me. Grief is not the problem. Instead, grief is the facilitator of healing through any loss. It is this soothing balm on the spirit that invites us to understand that we are all part of a magnificent circle of life that is continually dependent on our embracing beginnings and ends. In order to grieve we need to honor the many stages of loss and allow the process to happen no matter how big or small the event has been.
It’s occurred to me that understanding any losses impact on your life will help you move through whatever shows up more easily.
Image via Grief.com.