All loss, all bereavement, is designed and co-created by us as a mechanism to understand and experience more fully the true nature of our love, of the love that we are and that we have for all.
By choosing to engage fully in the experience, rather than by masking it or pushing it away, we receive the gifts of love for our Self and uncover our strength, our fortitude and our courage which is the nature of our compassion. In other words, by moving into our experience of loss and bereavement we move into our power, into our love which is at the heart of our healing. And as we do this, as we be this, our energy of love takes its place in the healing energy of everything. The love that our bringing our Self to healing has created becomes that of the whole for all of us to experience and benefit from.
The other major benefit to us is that, as with all thorough 'clean outs', residues of resentments and other non healing emotions are understood and received as the inherent gifts of love that they are, and are not 'carried' by us into our subsequent experiences and relationships.
Just as you would not expect the water in a bucket to be clean if there was still some residue of detritus in the bottom, so our cellular energy is cleansed of repeat patterns of behaviour and so is freed to experience the healing of our Love Pattern of Reality. (see How To Live As Your Soul)
We say that the heart breaks, but actually it just closes. Our heart shuts off, and as a consequence closes down to the physiological commands that keep our heart healthy. The heart simply ceases to be what it is designed to be, namely an organ of the ever expanding awareness of the love that it is, and that we are.
Expanding into our awareness of love means that whatever we are experiencing, we choose to keep going, we choose to keep on opening up, we choose to continue to let others in, we choose to continue to be the love that we are. These choices are actually far easier to make than you may think, because the reactions (re-enactions of a given experience) of shutting off, or closing down run counter to your body's natural healing response (the re-spending of energy, which is how our body heals).
It is when we choose to resist an experience, when we choose to not heed our hearts call to expand our awareness and willingness to love, that we experience pain, heartbreak and despair.
Of course, if we are not aware that we actually have a choice of whether to react or respond in the first place, or even how to make that choice, then all we are left with is the societal convention, and even expectation, that loss must cause suffering. And if all we know about loss is that it causes suffering, then it must be avoided at all costs, we are going to do everything we can to avoid, to resist, opening up into the loss. Who actually wants to 'suffer'?!
So, rather than diving into our loss and responding to our bereavement, we resist, we react, we re-enact, we enter into our our non-love Pattern of reality. We just bob about on the surface, frantically kicking away the pull to dive deeper, as we muster up as much of a semblance of 'coping', 'getting on with it', and 'moving on' as we can.
And so the opportunity to open up passes and our heart squeezes a little tighter and a little tighter, until it becomes so 'brittle' that the facade of our 'coping' crumbles to reveal the armour that we have been 'taught' to create in order to 'protect' ourselves from further 'heartbreak'. When, of course, all the 'protection' that we actually achieve is that of our resistance to allowing love to become a part of our healing experience, a part of our heart, a part of our lives.
What is really trying to break free, what heart break is actually designed to break you free of, is your attachments to what love is and what love isn't, of what you think you need and how you think you should be - your behaviours.
What is really trying to break free, what heart break is actually designed to break you free of, is your attachments to what love is and what love isn't, of what you think you need and how you think you should be - your behaviours. All behaviours are ultimately a result of our attachments to the state of 'needing' to be loved, when of course, none of us actually needs love, for we are love - you can't be in need of what you already are!
All loss, all bereavement can be brought into the joy of healing. All loss, all bereavement is designed to bring you into the joy of healing, to bring you into the experience of the love that you are. All loss, all bereavement is designed to expand your experience of your beautiful heart so that you come to know your heart, so that you come to know your Self as the never ending, always expanding love that you already are.
Just imagine how you would feel if you gave up your attachments to the notion that the length and depth of your grief equates to the length and depth of your love. This notion is why we are 'taught' that 'you can never get over the loss of a child'. Just imagine how you would feel if you gave up your attachments to the notion that if you have experienced loss through violence or assault then you can only be a 'victim' of it. And so you must 'suffer' for a length of time proportionate to the 'gravity' of the assault. Who makes up these notions? How have these suppositions become received wisdom? If the cosmos operated on these suppositions then love, would not, could not exist!
These attachments, are causing us much unwarranted anguish and occluding us from the healing power of our hearts Expression of love, of our response. The heart is a muscle, if it's not being pumped up with your love then what is it being pumped up with? If the muscle memory of your heart is being fed the information that it is suffering, then of course that is what your heart, and you, will experience. Choose to feed your heart the truth of its existence, then your heart grows, expands, and becomes capable of receiving more and more love. You are now choosing to respond, to re-spend your energy.
The 12 Movements of Healing Bereavement
This series of the 12 Movements of Healing Bereavement will help you to remember how to respond to your experiences of loss so that you can expand your capacity to receive love, and can expand your awareness of your life as a series of acts and experiences of love. This is the power of the 'broken' heart. Your heart 'breaks' to open you up to the unending capacity for love that your beautiful heart already has. You could say that the more you've had your heart broken, the more your beautiful heart is open to the eternal love that you always are.
These are The 12 Movements of Healing Bereavement. Just as ripples build into a wave, so movements become a dance, a dance of life, a dance of joy renewed. In this article, the first movement will be explored and explained, with subsequent movements detailed in upcoming articles. Even if you are not currently experiencing loss, you can apply these Movements to your past experiences as a guide to receive all the Gifts of Love that were and are present for your healing.
I just want to say that, whatever the nature of your bereavement, please remember that you are loved so dearly. The Universe loves you, I love you, you are love. And always remember that courage is the nature of your compassion to and for your Self, so take courage, take heart and move into the healing power of your love, move into the healing power of your beautiful heart.
The reason these are Movements as opposed to steps is because, just as ripples flow over and under each other before breaking free on the shore, so it is that aspects of one Movement can ripple up into another. This is very powerfully healing as it allows any remaining 'undercurrents' to surface as they are revealed by any of the other Movements - so don't get attached to giving your Self bench marks to 'assess your progress', that's just your unfiltered mind attempting to insert a control mechanism or two!
The 12 Movements are:
1. Shock & Awe, 2. Outrageous Outrage, 3. The Blame, Shame Game, 4. The Poor Me Panic,
5. Realisation, 6. Embracing, 7. Weeping, 8. UnderStanding,
9. Love, 10. The Relief of Release, 11. The Faith of Trust, 12. The Joy.
PART 1. SHOCK & AWE
Just as the shock waves from an explosion radiate outwards from the centre of the blast, so does the experience of shock. Shock is the body's healing defence mechanism designed to allow you to enter into a state of response rather than reaction. Those who experience what is termed 'delayed shock' are in their body's response mode, which allows you to continue almost as though nothing untoward has happened. This is also when, in a car accident for example, everything seems to slow down and you are able to make and take perfectly rational counter actions to mitigate your perceived consequences.
I was once driving my car over the brow of a hill when (as was subsequently discovered) the rear axle broke, the tyres lost contact with the road and landed on the verge, still travelling at speed. I remember clearly being puzzled by the lack of tyre connection with the road surface and as I realised the car was travelling up off the road and to the left, I turned the steering wheel to the right so that when the car made contact with the ground again it stayed on the verge rather than into the lining trees and hedges. I braked to stop the car - still trying to steer it onto the road, all the time trying to work out what had caused the car to do this, and remembering that a neighbour had recently old me that some neighbourhood children had been bouncing up and down on my car boot. I got out of the car and saw that the road side of the car was completely untouched, whereas the nearside was completely wrecked. Even the front and back windscreens were clear on the roadside and shattered on the nearside.This state of hyper aware 'normalcy' continued as I dispensed homeopathic remedies to the others in the car, spoke with the police and arranged for my car to be towed - having first attempted to see if I could just drive it to a garage!.
This is what delayed shock often looks like, a seeming state of enhanced and even serene competence. Whilst this state of delayed shock is very useful in times of accidents or emergencies, it can often mean that deep healing gets overlooked as to all intents and purposes the person experiencing the delayed shock is handling the events so well, that nobody (including themselves) can see a clear need for any 'shock waves' to be brought to healing.
Coping With Panic
Non 'delayed shock' is actually panic, the 'Awe'. The mind has become so overwhelmed with enumerate potential disasters that it shuts down completely and is no longer available to evaluate the options for action that the body is presenting the mind with. 'Panic' is very commonly misinterpreted as 'shock', the eyes become glassy, breathing becomes laboured, screaming or 'stunned' non-responsive silence ensues. Panic is the state we enter into when the mind is no longer 'listening' to the body, and if the mind is no longer receiving from the body then stasis is the only result. This is also why using drugs to sedate people after they have experienced the shock that is actually panic is so unhelpful, as this merely drives down the body's natural healing response and cuts off the connection from the body to the mind.
What is immensely healing is to understand that panic is a state of overwhelm, a state of disconnection with the body, a state of 'I am not safe', and that panic typically pre-empts shock, and as such can pass quickly. Shock (often called 'delayed shock'), is a state that the body enters into in order to give your mind a chance to catch up with and plan for the consequences of an experience, and can reverberate throughout the body long after the trigger experience.
So when helping yourself or another into a state of healing, first determine whether it is a state of panic or shock that is present. Of course, if you are yourself in a state of panic you're probably going to be able to realise this only after the panic has passed! Nevertheless, knowing that your state of panic has passed and that you are now entering into the state of shock, is crucial for your healing. Assuming that, because the panic has passed that you are now over the shock, means that you miss out on all the healing possibilities of the state of shock, in other words, you miss out on all the healing possibilities of the state where your mind is hearing, is listening to your body.
Let's look at the state of panic, the state of shutdown or cut off - even if somebody is apparently 'communicating' because they are screaming, they have in fact shut down and cut off from their communication with their body because they are so overwhelmed. I know of no more effective way to assist than to simply and lovingly hold the panicked person. Embracing and holding gently and firmly creates a safety net and allows for them to feel their connection with their body again. Through their connection with you they can feel their connection with themselves, the connection between their body and mind. You are gently helping them to get back into their body. (see How To Get Back Into Your Body)
Save your words, they'll rarely be heard, and there are few of us who are able to be completely unattached to our own experience(s) of distress. Plus, a person in a state of panic is also hyper over-sensitive, - who knows which gentle word of comfort could spark an avalanche of angst. So, keep your counsel and just love them, just provide them with a cocoon of resting, ever present love. And always let them be the one to let go of the embrace. You breaking off first just makes them feel abandoned, that this love you have been embracing them with is conditional, and is therefore not love actually! And thus, they do not feel safe, and so now are back in the same state that triggered the panic in the first place!
Once their initial panic has passed, ask them what their body would like to drink and/or eat (for some, extreme shock triggers the body into the need for protein). This helps bypass all the received wisdom about what is best for the body when in a state of shock - namely caffeine and sugar (hot sweet black tea) and alcohol (eg brandy). These substances, individually and severally, are depressants and anxiety stimulants, so let's not go there!
If you have any of these to hand, offer hot herbal teas such as; liquorice and /or peppermint tea, fennel tea, (Sencha) green tea or water (with a teaspoon of lime juice). In their absence, water also soothes the body and assists in the restoring of the adrenal glands, and the warmth of hot water also soothes and inhibits the release of further stress hormones.
And then try to help them move, to walk. Physical activity helps to use/burn up all those 'flee' reaction bio chemicals that their body has been churning out. Of course this is not a walk in the park to admire the roses, this just means linking your arm in theirs and gently helping them to move their body, whilst you continue to listen and be with whatever and however they are expressing the aftermath of their panic. In summary, Listen, Hold, Listen, Drink, Move, Listen
Coping With Shock (Delayed Shock)
If you are assisting someone who is in an actual state of shock, first know that they may not appear to be in shock at all. Because we have been so used to societal descriptions and depictions of the state of shock, we have forgotten what shock actually is.
Shock is a state of enhanced awareness and where priorities to the observer, can appear to be confused. eg in the car accident I've described, one passerby offered to call the police. This was the last thing I wanted. My priorities were the safety and wellbeing of the passengers, the sorting out of my car and the return home of all of us. It was only when the passerby said that the police would organise the removal of my car to a garage that I gave my consent. The passerby looked more than a little disapproving of my initial resistance, but the assistance I was looking for was for succour and support rather than for the forces of law and order! It is so very easy to pass judgement on another when they are in a state of shock if they are not behaving a) as if they are in a state of panic, and b) in a way that runs counter to your personal list of priorities.
When offering your assistance to one who is in actual shock, look to see what needs doing and offer it by way of explanation of how this may benefit them, rather than what they ought or should be doing. Again, people who are in an actual state of shock (as opposed to panic) often appear to be perfectly calm and in control. But this is a state of cruise control, that is that they are dealing with the situation moment by moment and are rarely able to think or plan for non-immediate eventualities. So don't rush them, let them arrive at a given point when they are ready to so do. Again, their priorities may not make sense to you, but as they are in a state of pure response, as they are really hearing their body's communication, only assist with offers of help that have had the benefits to them clearly explained. And always respect their choice, assistance is not the imposing of our perception upon another, assistance is being of service, which means that it is their lead which is followed.
For a lot of us, what feels like an instinctive response is to hug or hold the person in a state of shock. Before doing this, offer first, and before offering check that it is not you who is actually wanting a comforting hug, and needing to do something in an attempt to alleviate the others 'pain'. Also know that when a person in shock is 'forced' to make contact with another, it acts as a break with their own body mind connection and yanks them out of their cruise control. This is in and of itself another shock. Wait until they have stopped doing, ceased acting in the moment by moment impulses (this might take days), and extend a loving arm, perhaps placing your hand very lightly on their back heart centre (see How To Live As Your Soul) and wait for them to respond. If they don't, step back and offer again another day.
In summary, Listen, Respect their priorities, Offer assistance in the form of clearly defined benefits to them, Listen, Offer a loving embrace.
If it is you that desires to move through current or past shock, then take a deep breath, and another, and another. Breathe into your bones and find somewhere and sometime to sit quietly to breathe into the shock and let it reverberate through you, and thus out of you, rather than inadvertently suppressing the shock by 'dealing with' - ie ignoring it, legging it, masking it. And remember, you may not feel like you are in shock because you are coping so well!
Of course, what we're dealing with here is pretty much the aftermath of whatever experience has brought you into the state of shock. This is an important distinction, for shock reverberates throughout our being long after the 'news' has been given, the discovery made, the accident experienced. Shock will always bring to the surface unresolved experiences from your past, so shock can be immensely and continuously healing.
Being 'shaken to the core' is necessary at times for all of us to clean out that core, to rebuild our core from more substantial foundations.
Being 'shaken to the core' is necessary at times for all of us to clean out that core, to rebuild our core from more substantial foundations. Of course that doesn't mean wandering around like a zombie, it just means to allow the shock waves to pass through you, to allow each wave to ripple up and out by receiving the gift of underStanding, of love that each shock wave is rippling through your body. Also know that it is more than likely that the shock waves only complete their healing as you step into the 12th Movement, The Joy, so rushing or pushing your Self to 'get over it' will only be counterproductive.
May I repeat that, whatever the nature of your bereavement, please remember that you are loved so dearly. You are love and beloved. And always remember that courage is the nature of your compassion to and for your Self, so take courage, take heart, and rather than 'move on', move into the healing power of your love, move into the healing power of your beautiful heart.
May you always feel beloved,
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Written by Kim Hutchison, Sunday May 17th, 2015