“Grief is love not wanted to let go”
…one of the most damaging beliefs you can hold after losing someone you love.
Earlier this week I spotted this quote by Earl A. Grollman going back and forth on twitter and facebook. It might seem lovely, and understanding, and respectful. I think it’s just a little bit……ghastly.
Recently a regular reader of my blog commented that I’m often banging on about beliefs about G.R.I.E.F., but not spending as much time telling people how to come out of pain. She is right…but there is method to my madness. Well…at least the ‘madness’ around my work anyway. The reason I write a lot about beliefs is simple. The first, and most important, step in starting to come out of your pain is to address any unhelpful beliefs you may have about it. By ‘unhelpful’ I mean any beliefs you hold about this pain being permanent and or/desirable. If you believe that a) your pain and grief will never go away, or that b) you wouldn’t ever want it to go away….then guess what….it never will.
The process I take people through has 9 steps and the most important one, the absolutely crucial one, is the one dealing with beliefs. Because, to be absolutely honest, when you’ve lost your mum or dad or someone else you love if you don’t address your beliefs you can let all the time in the world go by, or do all the different work you like….but you won’t ever completely come out of grief as your reasons to stay there are too strong.
He does not believe that does not live according to his belief ~Sigmund Freud
Freud was absolutely right. We will live by our beliefs….and your beliefs around grief/pain are no exception to this. I read a blog the other day by an artist who had created a beautiful mandala that said over and over ‘Love is forever grief is forever love is forever grief is forever’. Grief is forever? That is one heck of a commitment to have made.
And the quote by Grollman is the perfect example of one of the beliefs that will keep you in the pain you are in. ‘Grief is love not wanted to let go’. Identifying your pain as being one and the same as your love for the person you’ve lost is not a good idea. Why? Would you ever give up your love for them? Of course not. And if you believe that your grief is love then you won’t give that up either.
So here are some ‘what ifs’ you might like to think about instead……
What if your love for them and your grief over their loss are actually two separate things?
When they were alive you loved them without it hurting you. What if you could do that again?
What if your love is your pure connection to them…and your painis just your emotions and thoughts around their loss that get in your way?
What if you could let go of your pain without letting go of your love for them?
What if your grief/pain, the thing you think binds them to you and keeps their memories alive, is actually the thing getting in the way of your love for them? like a painful barrier that stops you thinking about them and connecting with them easily?
What if examining and challenging your beliefs around grief could make a profound difference to the pain you are in and the way you are able to remember them?
What if your grief is not ‘love not wanted to let go’?
Love is forever but what if the pain doesn’t have to be?
Just what if?
As always I’d love for you to comment below if you have anything you’d like to add, share, or ask.