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Mental Health

Five Ways to Survive Grief

Five Ways to Survive Grief


When Jamie Turndorf, Ph.D., known to millions of radio and TV fans as “Dr. Love,” lost her husband, the author of Kiss Your Fights Good-bye turned to the spirit world to find him. She details the process in her new book, Love Never Dies: How to Reconnect and Make Peace with the Deceased (Hay House). Here are a few tips we picked up about dealing with a loss.

Know you’ll get what you need. We aren’t supposed to white-knuckle our way through life. When we have a hard time, we’re supposed to open our hearts, eyes, and ears and decipher what this hard time is teaching us. We are given exactly what we need in order to complete our spiritual development.

Surrender control. When we’re smacked by the tsunamis of life, we’re being asked to bow to forces greater than ourselves. Physical and emotional suffering, including grief, serve to break down our defenses. When sorrowful things happen, we can either become bitter and petulant or view these trials as the gift that brings us closer to God and the spirit realm. It is said that the heart must be broken again and again in order to finally be opened. Learn to be grateful. We cannot appreciate the light if we never see the darkness. Similarly, how can we know joy except by contrast? When we suffer, we’re being taught to appreciate the simple gratitude that comes when the pain stops. Remember, we can’t appreciate light without living in the dark.

Don’t drown your sorrows. Many people try to defuse their anxieties by becoming workaholics, shopaholics, and/or alcoholics. Millions more resort to unhealthy or excessive sex, eating, drug use, gambling, and even hobbies. While these sorts of activities may permit us to temporarily escape unpleasant feelings, their long-term effects can be debilitating if not disastrous. More to the point, they block receptivity.

Take your emotional muscles to the gym. Flex your emotional muscles and train yourself to tolerate all your feelings — positive and negative alike. Approach it like training at the gym. When you first start a new regimen, your muscles are weak and you can’t bear a lot of weight. But with time and practice, your muscles develop. You become stronger and can bear more and more weight. The psyche works in much the same way.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff and Wayne Brady

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