Episode 65: Loss & Grief

Episode 65: Loss & Grief

Hosted by Jodi Hildebrandt

All of us, no matter our age or background, have experienced loss.  It is a part of the human experience.  How do we manage our experiences of loss?  We can choose to block them and disconnect from self and/or others, or we can learn to grieve our losses and thereby experience connection to self, others, God / Higher Power, and Reality through our losses.  Loss is meant to connect us in vulnerability, validation and connection.  The rawness and “weakness” of the experience, and the lack of control over the loss, are invitations to connect.

In this episode, Jodi explains why grieving is vitally important to living in connection with self, others and God / Higher Power.  She teaches how to open oneself and be vulnerable in order to grieve one’s losses.  After listening to this episode, you will be empowered to create connection in your painful experiences of loss that will inevitably come to young and old as a vitally important part of our life experience.

 

Full Transcript

PDF Version: Episode 65: Loss & Grief

Episode 65 – Loss & Grief

Welcome to ConneXions Classroom Podcast. We are so excited to introduce to you the opportunity for you to join us in a classroom setting where you will be taught the principles of connection. For those of you who have already joined us on the podcasts, and for those for you who have not, you are now ready to step into an extensive, hands-on, all-star classroom experience to better understand why you are experiencing and interpreting life the way that you do.

You will be introduced to the foundational principles of personal integrity, which are: how to live impeccable honesty, rigorous personal responsibility, humility, vulnerability, openness, willingness, transparency, and boundaries.

This is a 12-week intensive course that consists of meeting one time a week for two hours. You will be given six workbooks. In each workbook, instruction will be given to you on core concepts of how to live your life from a position of emotional honesty, Reality, Truth, boundaries, validation, being able to recognize your distortions, and how choice plays a central role in all of your experiences and emotional outcomes.

Some of the concepts covered inside of the classroom include: what validation and vulnerability are and how to animate those principles your life; how to live in Truth rather than distortion; how to recognize your distraction and your controlling behavior in your relationships; and how to live a life of peace rather than pain. Powerful concepts that change lives, beginning with yours.

Hundreds of people have participated already, and have drastically transformed their lives by living and being in Truthful, emotionally honest relationships. They report experiences of personal empowerment and emotional and mental sophistication being introduced into their relationships.

So, now it’s your turn to come and participate. This classroom experience will change the way you interact with yourself and others in powerful ways, giving you the tools and emotional sophistication to connect deeply inside yourself and invite other in your life to do the same.

Come and experience connection. Go to www.connexionsclassroom.com, and hit the “Go to Academy” button and sign up. I look forward to meeting you and connecting.

[00:02:48]

Good morning and welcome to the week of July, 25th, 2015. This morning, we’re going to be talking about loss and how to appropriately grieve loss. Loss is something that everyone of us experiences in this mortal existence. And whether it’s something that appears to be insignificant to someone else, or something that is very significant to self or somebody else, loss is always connected to that experience of not having connection either with self, or with something, or someone else.

And so, let’s talk about how to appropriately address when life hands us something that we consider a loss, so that we don’t get disconnected.

Before that, I just want to thank those of you who have sent in your stories, I really appreciate it. I’ve said on previous podcasts, that we are in the process of writing a book with all of these concepts. I’m so excited to share that with you when it’s done. I’m forecasting probably about a year before it will be done. And so, those of you who have listened to the podcasts, or if you’re a new listener, thank you so much. Because of you, we are able to continue to broadcast these. There’s such a demand from you, the listener, to gather more information about these principles.

So, I’m just thrilled. I love talking about them. They are such a healing component, not only in my life but in the lives of hundreds of people that I know personally and it sounds like the Principles of Truth are also going into your life and are healing yourself and those around you that you share them with, so thank you very much.

If any of you would like to write an email and share one of your personal experiences that you’ve had with one or several of these principles, I would love to have that. In the book, we are going to use examples. The best way to teach people is through example. And so, if you’ve had an experience where the principle of connection, or surrender, or drama—I’m chuckling because all of us have had those experiences—or you’ve had an experience with risking, or empathy, or validation, or vulnerability, and you want to share that experience, whether it had an outcome that you thought was pleasurable or not, share your stories with us.

I’m going to go through these emails that are being sent and choose some of the stories that best fit the principles that I want to teach, and yours might be one of those. So, if you would be willing to send me that, I would really appreciate it and you might end up in the book.

So, thank you very much and also, thank you for coming to the website, putting down your email address. If you want the newsletter that we send out monthly, go ahead and go to www.ConneXionsClassroom.com and share with us your email, and we will be sending you a monthly newsletter to keep you updated on what we’re doing here at ConneXions, we’ve got some great things going and can’t wait to introduce those to you.

[00:06:21] Why We Need To Grieve

So, this morning let’s talk about loss and how to appropriately or healthily grieve loss. This concept came to me again as I was working with some clients over the last week or so. They were experiencing just an amazing amount of loss. A daughter had gone off the map as far as, they couldn’t contact her, and the parents were just very, very frightened and she wouldn’t respond to texts, or emails, or phone calls, and they were concerned that she had overdosed or she had done something that was drastic to her life. They were experiencing all sorts of loss.

And so, walking with them through that experience, and I was experiencing my own loss because I did not know what had happened. And so, though I was there vicariously, I also was there in a very present way for myself and through empathy just imagining how I would feel if that were me in that position where those parents were.

And so, feeling that weight of the loss they were experiencing and then also trying to grieve that appropriately.

So, let’s start at the beginning of what loss is. All of us experience this experience called loss. We’ve all lost things. Whether we’re an infant and mom decides to go an errand for a while, the child feels a sense of loss when she’s gone. They may not be able to language that but they feel fear, they feel unsafe, they feel worried, and maybe even anxious, they start crying, they start reaching towards something that will make them feel comforted. And so, they’re experiencing loss.

Or something that has more consciousness in it, like the loss of a loved one to death or a divorce, those are kind of more of the big ones that most of us would say okay, that’s a significant loss. But at the same time, loss includes all sorts of areas in our life. It’s not just these big incidences where someone either extricates themselves or you extricate them from your life. So many things we can experience as loss. And so, because it is a part of the human experience, we all have had and will continue to have this experience that is often very, very painful.

So, my question is: when we have these experiences of loss, how do we manage them? How do we grieve our losses? Or do we grieve our losses?

So many of us react and do things that will disconnect us to when these experiences happen. And the Truth is, is that these experiences are present as an opportunity to connect, you with you, you with other people, that’s the Reality. Loss is an experience to connect to ourselves and to others. And that’s probably really maybe threatening to even hear that. However, it is the Truth. It doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt. However, in our pain, it is a very vulnerable position that we find ourselves in if we will allow ourselves to go to that vulnerability, and in that vulnerability is where we can receive validation and connection. It’s in the rawness of the experience and the “weakness” that you feel, like I am completely out of control, I cannot stop this, I cannot do anything about it. It’s in that position, that incredible sense of being open and transparent to the powers that be, saying, “I cannot change this.”

Right there, is where the connection is, if we will allow it. Unfortunately, many of us, because we have shame, we have this illusion that we can control this stuff. That when loss comes, we can control it and we shouldn’t have to experience it, and that when loss presents itself, it’s wrong, and it shouldn’t be happening. And somehow, I’m going to make it not be.

And it’s in that spot that we start suffering. And I want to go through that a little bit more thoroughly about how many of us knee-jerk into that kind of presentation and it causes incredible pain, and anguish, and anger, and drama, and on and on and on in our lives. It causes addiction.

And so, it is not a wise position to go into that but unfortunately, many of us do.

[00:11:58] What is Loss?

So, what is loss? On a cursory viewpoint, what is loss? Loss is something you don’t have anymore. Loss, if I react to it, can cause suffering maybe even anger, definitely pain. And even if I respond appropriately to loss, I still can feel pain, I still can suffer, I still can be angry, but I don’t stay in those positions; I just visit them for a season.

So, here are a handful of things that we can lose. I’m just going to list off some things that just came to my mind. Death and divorce are all a part of loss. A friend who violated your trust or a loved one who violated your trust, that’s something that feels like you’ve lost. A child who is in a position where they’re being defiant, or arrogant, or entitled. You feel a sense of loss, like you can’t connect with them.

Maybe an animal that died, or maybe an animal that became rabid and you can’t connect with the animal any longer.

The loss of a dream, whether it’s a dream for someone else, like you always imagined your child growing up and going to college and something goes on in the child’s life that they decide not to do that, and so you feel this loss of this fantasy or dream that you had. Maybe you’ve been preparing financially for your child to go to college, and instead they go join a band, or they become a beggar on the streets, or they decide to get married. Whatever it may be, it’s just that you’ve lost that dream of them going to college and become something in particular.

Physical ability, as people either age or they have some kind of physical mishap that goes on in their life, or an accident, or maybe they’re born in a way that they don’t have full physical ability, I might feel a sense of loss that I didn’t imagine that this would be the circumstance.

Or maybe mental capacity, your loved one, your parents, maybe a friend gets dementia, or Alzheimer’s, or maybe they have an accident where their brain is injured and they lose some of their mental capacity and it feels like a loss. And a lot of people feel a little chagrined and shy, or even bad, or unworthy to even feel like I’m losing something. A lot of us don’t even talk about it because we feel that sense of shame, or embarrassment, or maybe I feel like I shouldn’t be feeling this way but we do.

A loss of a sense of opportunity. A relationship with a family member, loss of self-esteem. I behave in a way that is violating to my worth and I lose connection with my own esteem.

Many of us lose time. And what I mean by that is wasting time. How many times have I gone to bed at night thinking, “I didn’t use my time wisely. I lost time and I can never get that back!” For me, I typically will feel a sense of loss, like doggone it, I really wanted to get this and this done today and I didn’t plan correctly.

We lose sleep by our own choices or maybe the choices of other people that are affecting us, babies that need to be nourished, or maybe teenagers that are not coming in on time for curfews, or maybe I lay in bed and I’m just anxious as I lay there.

How about emotional honesty? The loss of emotionally honesty, so I walk around and I have this façade that’s on, like I’m two-faced. I don’t know how to be honest with myself or other people.

Loss of energy, loss of peace of mind.

I’ve lost the will to live. Unfortunately, some of us can get to that spot where everything “looks like it’s going wrong,” and I just don’t have this will to continue moving forward.

The loss of safety. Maybe I don’t have relationships that are safe or maybe a relationship that’s been really safe turns into disconnect and I don’t feel safe with them any longer. That is definitely a loss.

Loss of integrity, or the loss of an educational opportunity. Loss of independence.

Loss of purpose—kind of like will to live—I don’t have any purpose, I don’t know where I’m going in life.

Loss of trust.

Or loss of my virginity. Maybe I made some decisions and I decided to be sexual with someone and now, that person’s out of my life and I feel a sense of loss, like I gave him or her something very special and sacred to me and I feel like I can never get that back.

Loss can be experienced in so, so many different areas, and it’s really important that we focus on what in my life do I feel like I have a sense of loss around? And how do I want to heal that? Because if I just sit in the loss, oftentimes I will go into a reactionary position which is where I want to go next and explain that.

So, anything that we possess, like, maybe an item or maybe a relationship, and I don’t mean being possessive, but just like, I have it in my life, it’s a part of what my experience is in the world. Or something I feel entitled to, like I feel entitled and I feel possessive of, or I should have this.

So, whether it’s something that I do have or something I feel that I should be entitled to have, we can lose it. It doesn’t matter what it is. My ability to speak, I could have an experience and all of a sudden, I can’t talk anymore. I hit my head or maybe I get some kind of sickness and I’m not able to connect the synapses together in order to make a sentence.

So, everything that we have has a potential of being taken or having us lose it, or having us not be able to connect with it.

So, whether we have that thing or that person or not, we can react in a very poor position. So, when I experience loss, here are a handful of ways that we as human beings can react to something that is either (in my perception) taken from me, or I feel like it should not have been taken from me.

So, I can go into anger, I can feel entitled, or have fear. I can go into a victim position and say this isn’t fair, this shouldn’t have happened, and how come this always happens to me? How dare they do this to me? I can have expectations that I demand to be met. I can go into the persecutory position which is getting really belligerent or using expletives to describe my disdain or my disgust for what’s going on.

I can go into a rescuer position, that’s also a position. Sometimes, people think that rescuer is the “good place” to go because rescuing means helping. But really, when I go into the rescuer position, I’m just reacting as well, because rescuer is all about controlling something. If my spouse decides to leave me and then I go to him and I say, “I’ll do whatever you want. I’ll make your life bliss. I won’t complain anymore. I will be grateful for what I have.” All in an attempt to control his action of leaving.

That would not be good for him or for me because, again, I’m only sitting in a position of doing for him and not really thinking about what giving myself up like that would do to me.

I can react in jealously. I can start comparing. Any position of denial I could go into, compartmentalizing, intellectualizing, creating distractions, acting like a victim, blaming—all of those kinds of things, I could go into to react to this loss, trying to control it. I can get vindictive, I can ask a bunch of why questions like why do you do this? Or why is this happening? Or how can this be? Or tell me why you did that—I’m not going to be satisfied until I know. Asking those kinds of questions and demanding or trying to control an answer will keep you caught in this reactionary position as you try to manage this thing that you’ve lost.

You could go numb, which means you’ll disconnect from yourself and other people. You could feel sad or depressed, have apathy, feel anxious. You could start threatening, or ignore. You could act like it didn’t even happen, so you just kind of check out. You could become addicted, you could start blaming people. There’s just a myriad of places that you can go, and all those places, if you stay—and this is the key here—if you stay in those places, you will be in a place of disconnect.

And disconnect ultimately leads to an addiction, just so you know. No one is exempt from creating addiction in their life. If I stay in a place of disconnect long enough, I will have to have some kind of external that I go to, to alleviate the pain that is being caused by the disconnect that’s going on in my life. And a lot of times, it’s because I will not acknowledge the loss that has happened. Either I won’t or I don’t know how to experience the loss in a healthy way.

So, loss is not meant to disconnect us. It really is meant to connect us. Now, I know that sounds really intentional, like some kind of entity is creating loss in your so that you can have experiences of connection. I don’t know that that’s the case, and because loss is a part of the human experience, everyone’s going to experience it many, many, many, many times in their life.

And so, my invitation to you is that you learn how to experience when loss presents itself on the doorstep. You learn how to experience loss in maturity. And that is: you don’t go into a controlling position trying to control it because if you try to control something like that, which you cannot control, you will disconnect. That will be the outcome. It’s not like it might be, it will be the outcome because I cannot control what it is outside of my control. And when I attempt to, I start doing all sorts of things that are a violation to myself, to my values, to my morals, to my beliefs, to my integrity, and that’s how I disconnect.

So, the loss to the person or the experience, their feelings, they’re all there to teach you something. Those experiences are there so that you’ll learn and here’s the principle it’s trying to teach you: it’s trying to teach you to surrender. It’s trying to invite you to grieve, because if you don’t grieve, we will go absolutely into these places of disconnect.

So, many of us, when we experience loss, again, whatever level of loss it is. I mean, I can sit in a church service and maybe the parent has some goodies or treats for their child, and if the child is not getting one of the treats because they’re not showing up in a particular way, the child starts crying. And they’re experiencing loss. Because the child is probably too young or the parents haven’t been able to teach them, or don’t know how to teach them, they don’t know how to grieve that. They don’t know how to think through it. And so, they just react—they might get angry, they might kick the parent in the shin, they might pull their sister’s hair because the sister has one and they didn’t get one.

[00:25:35] Grieving

So, let’s talk about how to grieve because grieving is the antidote to loss. Grieving is very personal. It supports us, so that we don’t lose our integrity in this experience of what it is that we’ve lost.

So, grief doesn’t mean that you don’t have emotion. Grief actually does include all the emotions. Grief doesn’t mean you don’t feel or even experience. Those things I just read to you—anger, and anxiety, and pain, and blame, and jealously, and asking why, and feeling sad and depressed, and going numb, all those things when you are grieving, you might go into all of those things or a handful of those things, and that is fine for a period of time.

But the goal is to feel those and then move to another side. When I feel those emotions, I own them, like I’m owning the fact that I’m blaming God or my Higher Power for taking the life of my daughter. So, I acknowledge that, like, I know I’m blaming and I’m really angry. And I might even say, and it’s true. And I stay there for a period of time. Maybe I stay there for weeks or I stay there for a few months. However, when I’m appropriately grieving, I will move through that process, I won’t get stuck in one of those stages and stay there because some people stay right there, blaming, blaming, blaming. It doesn’t just stop at blaming God, it goes to blaming others, and loved ones, and anyone that is upsetting to me to a certain degree gets blamed because I don’t know how to heal the weight and the intensity of that wound that happened by losing my daughter.

So, if I don’t own those emotions and those places that I go of vindictiveness, or persecutor, or feeling entitled, or ignoring—if I don’t own those, then I will disconnect. That is the key, if I’m not responsible for where it is or how I perceive or interpret the loss, if I’m not responsible for that, I will disconnect from myself. And again, I can stay there for the rest of my life in disconnect.

Those of us that have addictions are in some level of disconnect. And when I say some level, they’re disconnected, it doesn’t mean they’re disconnected from everything and everyone but they are living in a state of disconnect. And it’s so significant that it’s causing emotional pain for them. And that’s why the evidence of the addiction—the drugs, or the alcohol, or the eating, or the sex, or the gambling, or the exercise, or the video gaming or whatever—keeps popping up in their life, because they will not take responsibility for the pain and the emotional anguish about whatever’s gone on in their life; they won’t own it. And because they won’t own it, they don’t know how to grieve it.

So, what do I need to do in order to grieve, like how do I grieve? 

I need to talk about the emotions that I have that are connected to the perceptions of loss or the realities of loss, and then let them go, which means I get to surrender.

So, that is a very, very, very difficult thing for people to do. It’s difficult for anyone to do. It’s something that does not come naturally. What’s natural for us is to control and to react. It’s very natural. However, it is not wise. It is not a state of maturity for us as human beings. It’s very primitive, it’s very not sophisticated.

So, surrender, being able to surrender the loss, means staying in the present moment. And when you allow yourself to do that, you acknowledge the Truth and Reality that you are out of control, that you are incapable literally of controlling anything; you can’t control your friend, death, divorce, your spouse, anything. You cannot control the outcomes that follow those choices that they make.

Therefore, you’re willing to accept that there are no guarantees in life, and that my friend, is what is so frightening. None of us connect to things thinking that we’re going to lose them. But the Truth is, is that there’s always a possibility of losing. Always.

And so, when I go to get married, I don’t think about, oh my goodness, this person could die, or divorce, or be in some kind of accident. A myriad of things could happen. I don’t think about that because when I think about that, it “causes” me to become afraid. And when I get afraid, I want to control.

And so, a lot of us just don’t plan for those kinds of things to happen. And I’m not suggesting that you need to plan for that, I just want you to know that that is a possibility because there are no guarantees in life. So, surrendering means simply acknowledging the Truth and Reality that there are no guarantees in life.

And it means that you’ll live in the present moment and you’ll accept the present moment as it comes towards you. When we live in the past or future, we feel afraid and panicked. We can feel angry and resentful. Being able to surrender means focusing on the present moment and what’s happening right now. So, when I have the experience of being married and I feel this bliss, and I feel so happy, stay in that moment. Pay attention to that. And then, two years from now or maybe 20 years down the road, I experience some significant loss around my spouse, and so that moment presents itself and I need to stay in that moment. And I need to learn how to grieve it.

Now, again, grieving means that you feel the emotion of it. You can feel all the emotions. You can blame and you can be angry, and you can want to retaliate, and you can feel all of those things, because it’s a part of healing.

However, you don’t act on them, and you don’t stay in those emotions. And hopefully you have someone who can walk you through that process of grief, but if you do not either 1) feel the emotion, or 2) allow yourself to get out of the emotion at some point, you will go into disconnect and you will develop some kind of addictive behavior. Guaranteed. They are absolutely connected together. if I am not able to grieve appropriately, I will create some kind of addiction inside myself.

So, loss can create so much anger that I want to do something. I want to react, I want to hurt someone, I want someone to feel my pain. And sometimes, I do stuff that I then have to go clean up. So, I had so much upset and so I reacted poorly because I wasn’t willing to accept—remember surrender—I wasn’t willing to accept the fact that I had no ability to stop this, so I go out and I key someone’s car. And then, I have to repent for that or I have to offer forgiveness for something that was done on to me that I could not control.

And when I live like that, I am living in a surrendered position. I say to myself, “You know what? That was wrong what I did. I need to clean this up and/or I accept that what this person did towards me was an offense and I need to forgive them for that.”

When I live like that, I will be centered. I’ll feel calm. I’ll feel compassion. I won’t feel fear because I’m not trying to control it. So, fear comes when I try to control something.

Being able to live in a centered, calm, and compassionate position means I’m connected. And when I’m connected, I can feel grief. And when I feel grief, I’m available to all emotions and I can feel all emotions. So, the goal is to not control the loss. The goal is when the loss is presented, to acknowledge it, stay in the present as best you can and feel the emotions that come up with that loss. And find someone who can validate those emotions. You need another, person especially if it’s a significant loss. You need at least one other person who can hold this with you and allow you to feel the things you need to feel, so that you can process this, move through it, and then eventually surrender it and let it go.

And when you surrender something like that, you will feel centered, you will feel calm, you’ll feel compassion. You won’t have fear and you will be connected.

So, here’s a very real experience when someone experiences loss, that you can go kind of back and forth. You can jump around on this, like you feel surrendered and then the next moment, you’re upset again. So, what’s happening is that you’re trying to come to grips with the significance of loss, and what’s happening is that your spiritual and emotional system is becoming sophisticated, it’s maturing.

And so, your goal is when you slip back into oh, but I’m just so angry, is to validate that, get someone else to validate that—that’s okay—and then again, start moving back into and I can’t control it, and this wasn’t personal, and yes, I am sad. So, acknowledging it, trying to stay in the present.

Being able to surrender is a process. It’s being able to trust that process and recognize that you are out of control, and you do need to let go of outcomes. And that this situation is uncomfortable and it is something that you would not have chosen.

So, being able to articulate exactly what you’re letting go of, that you’re not in control of, and imagining yourself handing that issue, that conflict, that person, that emotion, whatever it is, over to God or a Higher Power, or whatever represents peace to you—handing it over. But languaging it, articulating exactly what you’re letting go of and saying to yourself, “I can’t hold this. I can’t change it. I need to let it go. Will you please take it?” And then, breathing and consciously letting it go, whether you imagine floating it out of your hands, whether you send it up in a balloon and keep repeating those steps.

Surrendering requires this consistent, active choice pattern. That you trust it, like this will work because it does. You may not have experienced it for yourself yet but there are many thousands, millions of people who know how to surrender and it is a very powerful gift of healing.

[00:38:03] Seven Steps

  1. You trust the process or you trust the person that is teaching you the process.
  2. You recognize you’re out of control and that you need to let go of the outcomes, and the situation, or the person, or the uncomfortable experience.
  3. You articulate exactly what you’re letting go of and that you are not in control of.
  4. You imagine yourself handing that conflict, that person, that issue, that emotion, whatever it is over to God or a Higher Power, or whatever creates peace or represents peace to you.
  5. You say to yourself, I can’t hold this, as you’re articulating what it is. I can’t change it. I can’t control it. I need to let it go. Will you please take it?
  6. You’re breathing, deep breathing, and consciously having an image in your mind of letting it go. Having it dissolve from your system. I remember talking to a kid who had cancer, and he would imagine the “good guys” coming into assist him and shooting down the cancer cells, and that was his way of surrendering.
  7. Repeat these steps again and again until the pain is released.

There’s one more piece I want to share with you about loss. When we lose something, we all go through stages of loss. And some of us go straight through them, some of us bounce around. Depending on the significance of the loss, we may hit one or two of the stages, we may not go through all of them, but we all go into these to one degree or another.

So, depending on the weight of the loss, like the heaviness of the loss, I will go into an initial place of shock, like this initial paralysis.

I remember I was telling you this story about losing the wheel off my trailer that was carrying a 12,000 or 13,000-pound boat behind our truck. And when I saw that trailer wheel gone, I went into shock. This initial paralysis where I just kind of stood there and was just paralyzed with fear. My first thought was we could have been killed. That was my first thought, that the truck, the boat, all of us could have flipped over because we were going up and down some canyons and we could have been killed. So, I went into shock.

And the next stage is denial—trying to avoid the inevitable. So, here’s this experience of loss that’s presented and I want to deny it, like “this isn’t happening.”

The next stage that people go into is anger, they feel frustrated. They start sharing all of this emotion that they’ve had pent up for days, or months, or years, and they go into an anger position.

And a lot of people can stay in those three spots: shock, denial, and anger for years. Or bounce between denial and anger. Those three places are what I was talking about at the beginning of the podcast where I won’t let the experience go. I stay in that destructive behavior of blaming, and victim, and entitlement, and comparing, and asking why, and feeling numb, and going into my addiction. I won’t let it go, I won’t heal it.

When I’m finally willing—and willing is the key here—when I’m finally willing to do something else, I go into a stage of bargaining and I seek in vain for a way out, like, if I do this then maybe this can happen. But like I said, it’s in vain because I’m still trying to control it. But I’m getting a little closer to letting to.

And then, if I’m even more willing, I will go into a state of depression, which is realizing the inevitable, accepting the inevitable. Accepting the fact that my loved one did die. Accepting the fact that we are divorcing. Accepting the fact that I can’t get ahold of my daughter, she’s not answering the phone and I don’t have any control over whether she’s going to be safe or not.

And then, as I get into a little bit more awareness, and consciousness, and willingness to accept surrender, I start testing things, I start seeking realistic solutions like, okay, if someone finds her overdosed, how am I going to handle that? I’m looking for realistic solutions to handle my loss and my pain.

And then, finally, I go into a state of acceptance. I find a way to move forward. I’m willing to move forward. I’m willing to accept that I am out of control, that life does not present guarantees, and that I will accept what is being presented in the moment.

So, the seven stages—this is from Kubler-Ross—the seven stages of grief are first shock, then denial, then anger, then bargaining, then depression, then testing, then acceptance. You’ll recognize that in yourself if you take a minute, just look at the things that you’ve lost and see if you’ve gone through those steps.

And maybe you’re still stuck in one of those steps. If you are, I implore you, please, please, please start working on surrendering, because nothing in this life is being presented to hurt you, it really isn’t. I know that it does hurt, but the motive is not to hurt you, it’s meant to refine you, it’s meant to mature and sophisticate you spiritually and emotionally.

So, I want you to think about different experiences that you might have had, that either you’re stuck in or you were able to move through and surrender.

I remember going to the doctor several years ago and being told that I was pre-diabetic. They said that you can turn this thing around but I had to adjust my diet. And I remember going through those stages of shock, and denial, and anger, and I don’t want to change my diet and I can’t imagine not eating bread ever again, all that kind of stuff which millions of Americans have experienced by being told that kind of news.

I’ve had 20/15 eyesight for years, and then one day I woke up in my forties and my eyesight was noticeably changed. And it kind of scared me, like what happened in the middle of the night? And I remember going through those stages again of shock, and denial, and anger. And the Truth is that my body is getting older, and there are certain things that I need to do with my body to keep it in good health. And there are things that I’m losing that I cannot control.

But the best thing I can do is do what I can, and stay conscious, and go to the doctor, and follow preventative measures. That is the best way that I can manage my physical body.

I know this is a situation that affects everyone, and so again, my hope is that you will look at your life very honestly and you’ll look for the areas in your life where you feel pain, because my guess is that you have some kind of loss around that area where you feel pain. And identify with what that loss is and begin to grieve it in a way that allows you to get the state of surrender.

I hope you enjoyed this podcast and between now and next week, stay connected to yourself and we’ll talk soon. Bye bye.

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