Letting go of sadness

My dear friends...

I made a comment here last week that everything "bad" that is occurring in our collective and individual lives---from the earthquake in Chile to the terrible explosion in the mine in West Virginia---is part of a Larger Process by which All of Life evolves.

I know that it is very difficult to see that "silver lining" when you are one of the people whose husband or wife or child died in one of those tragedies...and so I want to talk this week about the process of grieving, and how that can be affected and facilitated by moving to higher and higher levels of spiritual awareness.

Grief is one of the Five Natural Emotions. The others are: Fear, Anger, Envy, and Love. These emotions were given to us as gifts. They are tools that, if used well, can help us all to move through this life and remain physically and mentally healthy. But the trick is, these emotions must not be withheld.

Grief that is repressed will turn into a very unnatural emotion: chronic depression. Therefore, when I talk with anyone about the process of grief, the first thing I tell them is, "feel it. For heaven sake, feel it. If you are experiencing grief, allow yourself to express it."

I say this because many people-perhaps most people-hide their grief, or at the very least, try very hard to control it, to hold it in, to repress it. This only guarantees that it will linger all the longer.

So the first thing to do about grief is to let it out. Cry it out, scream it out (in a healthy way, not in the form of abuse of another), bang it out (I have encouraged people to use a baton, or some other instrument with which they can hit a big pillow. A baseball bat works wonders on an told tire. A compressor hose can also be powerful, used on some old telephone books.

Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross used to say that every hospital should have not just a chapel, where one goes to be quiet, to pray or just sit in peace, but also a screaming room, where one could go to scream out one's grief. But no, she would say, what they do in hospitals is give the person who is grieving over the death of a loved one a sedative and send them home.

One of the problems in our society, Dr. Ross used to say, is that we are taught to sedate all of our Natural Emotions. Even love. With the result that these emotions are repressed, leading, as I mentioned above, to very unnatural emotions. Repressed fear will turn into panic. Simply envy, when repressed, will turn into jealousy. Repressed anger will turn into rage. And repressed love will turn into possessiveness.

So, advice #1 on grief: Let it out. Find a friend, go to your pastor, minister, rabbi or ulama, check out a grief-and-loss counselor, get to an emotional support group...find someone with whom to let it out.

Next week---Advice #2: spiritual healing for a wounded heart.

Love and Hugs,
Neale.

Comments

ninaferrell 25th April 2010 8:01 am

Dr Dyer -

The whole LOA phenomenon has caused folks to run after "feeling good" passionately. Thank you for making it clear that it is ok to be sad. Thank you.

Nina

anje 25th April 2010 12:39 pm

The list of repressed emotions and what happens to them is helpful.
It's not even necessary to find an outlet for grief outside the self.
It's also very possible and much much simpler and easier to just sit still and let grief come over you and take enough time to let it go away by itself. It just takes time, and repetition till you finally feel better permanently. Ironically it takes fearlessness to do that but ultimately seeing a therapist or using other avenues still leads to this process having to be done by oneself.
I often think the planet is grieving en masse right now.

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Neale Donald Walsch

Neale Donald Walsch is a modern day spiritual messenger whose words continue to touch the world in profound ways. With an early interest in religion and a deeply felt connection to spirituality, Neale spent the majority of his life thriving professionally, yet searching for spiritual meaning before beginning his now famous conversation with God.

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