With an understanding of the process and roadmap of grief…it is time to do some work to release the old lingering feelings of loss. This is an exercise to help us work through any of our losses.  It is a process not a onetime event and exercise so repeat as often as necessary. And by all means seek professional help if you or others deem necessary.

First take an inventory of all the unfinished loss you are carrying around. Go as far back as you would like and is necessary. The size of the loss is not what matters; it is how you feel about it. It can be loss about innocence, youth, ideas, jobs, relationships, dreams, pets…anything you have given meaning to. Make the list as long as is necessary to dig up all the toxic pile.  Jot each one down in one word or statement.  

Take a deep breath as you think about each. Write one salient feeling associated with each one. On a scale of 0-10 (10 being the strongest possible feeling) rate each one. Work with the strongest ones first or weakest ones if you prefer. You goal as you experience each one is to slowly see a drop in your rating scale of each so that a 9 becomes an 8 and so on, until it is at a 0 when possible.  (There are some losses that will always leave a residual sting and perhaps a zero is not the desired goal such as when a parent loses a child. Yet it is possible for many to get to zero.) Remember lowering the rating scale is about the intensity of the feeling, not about your level of care for the loss.  You will always care about it but it will be a source of joy and strength in the future when your grief work is over.  

How do you know which losses are still lingering?  How do you know when your grief over a loss is over?  How you feel about it when you recall it will tell it all.

Whenever you think about or see anything that reminds you of your loss, you will feel a shift in your emotional state.  If you are not finished with your grief work, the shift is downward, diminishing, and restrictive, you may not want to go there as you “will feel bad all over again”. The emotional strings get pulled and you have a reaction to stop the feeling, escape, make it go away, make it go under a façade again.  Usually they are feelings of anger, sadness, guilt, fear or shame.

Welcome this visit from your feelings instead.  This is the opportunity for coming face to face with these feelings that pull us down and are tying up our energy in the wrong direction. Sit with your feelings and letting them just be and experience their aliveness in our being until they dissipate. Resist holding onto them or pushing them away. Just letting them be gives a sense of relief, just like when you go empty your bladder. You will feel better and lighter.  The feelings may surface again at a later time, but let them be. Name them and let them visit and let them pass through you. Repeat as often as they visit. 

Eventually you do run dry and then when empty you can be filled with more light and loving energy that is always there waiting to drop in on us. Remember when the feelings are reduced you will be able to hear the thoughts related to those feelings and can explore and challenge any self-defeating or limiting ones.

If when you think about it, you feel truly peaceful and can find strength in the experience of the past and have drawn insights or just feel complete with the ending, then your grief over that issue is over.  You will have no adverse feelings, only peace and perhaps joy as it was a great learning opportunity for you and now a part of your life history you can stand on with calm and acceptance.

Do this exercise as often as you need to and work on as many issues as are necessary. The reward is more energy for being more of the best you.  The healed and transformed you. Remember you are the author of your life.

www.mariahildapinon.com

Maria Hilda Pinon, author of The Willows of Corona, a novel, and Candles in the Dark…poems to grieve, hope and love again.

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