Living With Loss
Loss is part of the human experience.
We don’t like it…but ever since we were born, we have experienced loss through…
- Relationship breakup.
- Job loss.
- Loss of a dream.
- Ending of a friendship.
- Health issues.
- Other significant losses.
I discussed some different types of grief in “Grief Takes Many Forms” and today I have tips for you on how to recover from significant loss.
We all have our own unique way of dealing with death and other major loses. My son died 4 years ago and I discuss how I handled the loss in “Grief, Loss … Life Goes On.”
Each of us is different and we react to loss in our own unique way.
For instance, what happens when a compulsive overeater experiences a significant loss? Sometimes that person has zero desire for food and just can't eat. Most of the time, however, the compulsive overeater turns to food for comfort.
Here are some other options to deal with any significant loss (without packing on the pounds):
1. Allow yourself to feel the feelings.
Grief isn’t fun to go through. But it is a necessary step for healing. Using food or stuffing the feelings only postpones the grieving process.
The feelings of grief are not predictable. Sometimes they come in waves. Sometimes it's more like an unexpected avalanche.
Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, MD, discussed the 5 stages of grief in On Death and Dying – denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. When you grieve, you don’t go through these stages in any particular order and sometimes you repeat a stage over and over again. Don't expect it to be neat and pretty.
Regardless of how you experience grief, be patient with yourself and your emotions. Let them come out. Feel them to their fullest. Yes, it's painful. But stuffing your feelings is a poorly-made bandage, and the feelings of grief come back with or without your permission.
Be sure to give yourself time and space to grieve in whatever way is right for you.
2. Get support.
You don't have to go through this alone.
Support people will allow you to feel your feelings and be there to hold your hand as you go through the process.
Sometimes, though, you will need to educate your support person in terms of what is helpful and what is not. For instance, the following may not be helpful to hear when you are dealing with the death of a loved one:
- “He/she is in a better place.”
- “At least you had a lot of time together.”
- “I know how you feel.”
- “I can relate – my parakeet died a week ago.”
- “Be strong.”
Instead, let your support person know how best to support you with specific requests that you feel comfortable with:
- “Hold me.”
- “Sit with me.”
- “Please bring me _________”
- “Let me talk/express how I’m feeling.”
- “Be with me without talking.”
- “Rub my back.”
- “Take a walk with me.”
I go into more detail in the article, “The Importance of Support.”
3. Do energy work.
When we have a significant loss, our energy body takes a hit.
Donna Eden teaches the 4 thumps to start each day. Doing this builds your energy – so don't wait for woe to strike, start today. Donna explains:
There are potent points on the body that are portals into our energy systems, doorways that open deeply into the body and interrelate with all other body energies. We can interact with these points by stimulating them with circular massage, holding our fingertips on them, and tapping or thumping to awaken and revitalize them. Attention to specific energies evokes their response and enlivening. When these doors open, the whole system is more receptive to shifting into greater balance.
Do the 4 Thumps – it's as easy as it sounds:
a. Tap on cheekbone, about 2 inches below center of eye (stomach meridian).
b. Tap the C27 points– just below the inner corner of collarbones (kidney meridian).
c. Tap thymus– center of sternum (strengthens immune system).
d. Tap spleen points- 4 inches below armpits (or beneath breasts).
Become your own energy detective and begin to monitor your energy NOW when you’re not faced with a loss and make it a habit. “Become Your Own Energy Detective” offers more suggestions.
Find other ways to strengthen your energy such as:
- Ask your support system to send you energy.
- Do large muscle movements like marching in place.
- Be in nature.
- Take time to journal.
- Find ways to laugh.
- Check out Silvia Hartman's Instant Energizer.
4. Increase your God-time.
Do you have a belief in something greater than yourself? You can read about my personal spiritual awakening by clicking HERE.
Whatever word you choose – God, Universe, Source, Higher Power, Divine Mother – you might want to imagine yourself in the arms of this Loving Higher Power. A client recently told me that after her father died she imagined large, strong, soothing arms around her, gently rubbing her back and comforting her. Ask your Higher Power for help you deal with the grief.
If you are religious, talk to your minister or other religious leader and attend services.
If you are agnostic or atheist, imagine that you are in the presence of a wise, loving Higher Self and allow yourself to be comforted.
Also… consider using Meditation as Spiritual Support.
5. Tap down the intensity.
Tapping Changes Lives – as discussed in a previous article!
We all have losses and grief, and the death of my son was the most heart wrenching. Following his death, I tapped daily using SourceTapping. It didn’t totally take away the grief but it allowed me to keep my head above water during a time that I felt like I was on the verge of drowning.
Some people have told me that they don't want to tap away the grief, that they feel it would be an injustice to the person they lost. I don't believe that the tapping will totally eliminate the grief, but it will open your energy body to allow easier flow of energy and emotions. And in my opinion, it's okay to use tapping to take down the intensity of the grief and perhaps even shorten its duration.
I am planning to do offer a free talk on this subject in Tucson and perhaps an online webinar. If you are interested in learning the details, please let me know in the comment section below.
Love and Blessings,
Many of us turn to food for comfort when faced with a loss. Stop Eating Your Heart Out offers tools to stop the emotional eating, deal with the loss and grief, and will result in your feeling so much better about yourself!