The pains of loss are 100% real. In a society where, more times than not, outwardly expressing our feelings does not feel acceptable, fully feeling the pains of loss gets boxed in, suffocated and made “well” far to early. The internal damage that can result from a grief process cut short can weigh heavily on the unconscious mind, play out in our physical health and harm our trust of the world and of ourselves.
Through the years of counseling and coaching I have done with clients of all backgrounds and all situations, identifying past places of loss, betrayal, grief and disappointment has been a main source of healing that helps my clients regain trust, respect, faith and a sense of personal power, that are a MUST if ever they are to feel whole again.
When we approach our lives as only a fractured part of ourselves, with portions of us left in the dust of our past, then our experiences of peace, joy, love, and fulfillment will only feel like fleeting moments. When we find resolution in our past, aim for meaningful progress in our future and find presence in our present, effortless true freedom can finally be ours to share.
Healing the Hurt
Pain is real. Pain, in most cases, moves us, moves through us and then with time moves away from us.
My daughter, Maddie, had a great perspective one day. We were approaching a Maserati; her favorite car. She got excited and asked me to catch up to it. Not so easy when driving a Toyota, yet the red lights helped us out. As we approached we noticed that the car had been in a fender bender, it’s left bumper dented and the rear light cracked. Maddie said, “Well I guess everything looks better from a distance”.
She was right, from a distance we could not see the pain that the car had endured and only saw its beauty.
Your life is the same. When we experience pain, in the moment, it’s big, close, and oh so painful. When times passes and we gain a bit of distance, we can begin to see the beauty of the moment and regain a feeling of beauty in our lives.
So how to we gain distance from the hurt and regain ourselves and our sense of certainty, trust, and power?
These are the simple strategies I ask my clients to do that help in overcoming hurt, betrayal, disappointment and loss. My first want is to have you check in with yourself and love yourself in this process first and foremost.
Telling the Story
This strategy is best done with a facilitator or a person who you can trust to “just listen” no fixing or siding with or egging on allowed… your partner is to “simply listen.”
Tell the story of what happened over a 10 minute span, adding in as many etails as you can, names, places… paint a vivid picture. Time 10 minutes to do so. End right at the 10 minute mark.
Next, tell the same story in 5 minutes starting from the very beginning. Make certain your partner times you. You will get a 3 minute, 2 minute and 1 minute cue. Make certain your partner cuts you off right at 5 minutes so you do not go over.
Next tell the same story in 2 minutes, starting once again at the top. Remember to get all the juicy bits of pain, loss, betrayal in. It’s only 2 minutes so go fast.
Then tell the story again in 30 seconds. That’s right… only 30 seconds.
Notice what has happened.
Discuss your experience with your partner or your coach.
What do you feel about the event now?
The next strategy helps you gain wisdom from the event that has caused the pain. This works for deep betrayals, realizing you were manipulated, getting dumped, getting fired or let go, or times of great disappointment.
Get a piece of paper and make three columns on the page. In column #1 – Inventory what you loved/ respected/ trusted in the situation, in column #2 write what you knew needed to change and was aware of/ what you had a clue about but may have been ignoring, in column #3 write what really caught you off guard/ what came out of the blue and shocked you/ what did not meet with your blueprint of how things were supposed to be.
When you look at the weight of the columns, if the items in column #3 outweigh column #1, revisit column #1 and go back in time to a place before the incident where the hurt happened… write what you loved and appreciated in the situation from that earlier time point.
When we seek to find ‘reasons why something happened to us ‘ we can keep ourselves stuck. When we look to find a receptive place where hurt may not have been so ‘out of the blue’ we begin to realize we are not victims. Usually we had a sense, an inkling that change was needed.
Change can be forceful and needed all at the same time.
What wisdom is contained in the betrayal?
What did the events cause you to now become? to now embrace in yourself?
How can you find grace in what happened?
How do you now choose to trust yourself?
What do you now choose to believe?
The Pillow Process
This strategy helps us, as my children coined, “get the angry out”. When hurt happens, we need to feel it and then move through it. Like going through dense fog, we cut through to the other side where the fog lifts.
One of the ways I help my clients feel their emotions and not fear being taken in by their feelings is to teach them, what I fondly call, “The Pillow Process.”
This is best done at home (hotel rooms count too, for my business travelers).
The pillow process can be fun, yet is very serious when done with full intention. This process is very powerful for adults and wonderful and safe for parents to do with their children.
When you are feeling powerless, frustrated, angry, sad, trapped, emotional – go to a bed or a couch where you can safely do the Pillow Process.
You can use your fists, or a blow up plastic bat, or a short foam noodle ( about 3 ft long).
Get onto the bed or couch, kneel facing the pillow(s). (Do not lie down and do this as that is a powerless, more vulnerable position).
Start beating the pillow with your fists (or bat) using both hands or with the plastic bat.
Shout out these phrases as they fit your situation.
Phrases that may fit are:
“ I feel so angry at …____”
“I am so mad that … ____”
“ I feel hurt because …___”
“ I am so pissed that …. ____”
“ I hate how _____ happened!”
“ I feel betrayed and angry “
Two big ones that really begin to move a ton of inner debris are:
“It’s a lie that I am not good enough!”
“It’s a lie that I am not lovable!”
You can also add in flavorful words that are usually not on our allowed list like, Fuck, Damn, Shit, Bitch, God Damn it to match the severity of your anger.
Find the phrase that has the most energy behind it and keep saying it, moving your body, beating the pillow or mattress.
Again this is to get the angry out not hold it in. You are not blaming others to feeling less than. You are doing this to get your power back over the situation.
This is not a session to tell the sad story… it is to specifically aim at the anger and verbalize it with movement of the body to get it out.
Go three rounds of this process for at least a minute each.
How do you feel now?
What do you choose to believe about the situation?
What do you know about yourself?
You are Powerful
Healing wounds new or old can feel scary.
Be gentle with yourself yet be wary to not find certainty and significance from telling the sad story. You are not a victim. You are not powerless.
The truth is you are powerful or your higher power would not have had you in this experience.
I believe in you!
Coach Tina Marie