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Why the idea of “getting over it” is so triggering

When I first started doing this work so many years ago, I imagined everyone would want to know about it. I had discovered how to heal totally from grief. I’d never even considered it an option until it had happened to me. And I just knew that all the grieving people would want to heal too. Of course they would! And I was so excited to tell them all and help them achieve the same.

So it came as a big shock the first time somebody said “but why would I even want to get over my grief?”

I remember the moment so well. I bumbled my words, as I really didn’t have an answer for her. And the reason I didn’t have an answer was because, at that time, I didn’t understand her question. I didn’t know where it was coming from and what beliefs it was coming from. She absolutely floored me.

It’s been 10 or 12 years since that moment now, and I am very well acquainted with the fact that most people actually don’t want to heal, and why that is. A very long time ago I stopped trying to convince grieving people who didn’t want to hear it that they could heal and why they should. It had been the cause of too many headaches and far too much heartbreak. I accepted that unless someone resonated with what I was saying about healing, then the conversation would be a waste of both their and my precious time and energy.

Now, when someone tries to debate me on this, I leave them to it. I learnt that lesson the hard way many years ago! And things got a whole lot more relaxing when I finally did.

I understand very well now the answer to that question “but why would I even want to get over my grief” and I’ve written on it so many times. But last week, when thinking about it, I realised a new element that I haven’t written on before.

This is that we usually use the phrase “get over it” in a negative, dismissive way. Getting over something is often what happens when we aren’t bothered about it or don’t care about it anymore.

We use it when we were annoyed about something but we can’t be bothered being annoyed about it anymore. “I was so pissed off with her…but I’m over it now”.

We use it about that shitty ex – you know the one – that we were heartbroken over at the time but later, when we’d come to our senses, realised was a total douche and wondered what we’d seen in them. “I’m so over that guy now”.

It’s why I specifically don’t talk about “getting over it”. I talk about healing. I think when it comes to grief though, people hear it as the same thing (though “healing” doesn’t push anywhere as many buttons for peeps!)

It’s important to see the difference.

Getting over something is usually what you do when it doesn’t matter anymore, or you’ve acknowledged it’s taking up time and energy it shouldn’t. It’s often something that happens over time and distance as we get more used to something, or numb to it, or it simply isn’t a big deal anymore.

Healing is what you actively do to clear your negative emotional experience of something, so you aren’t trapped in it or held back by it. In the case of grief, healing is what you do so you can love them easily and freely again. So you can think of them and talk about them, any way and any time you like, without the pain getting in the way. You don’t do it because they don’t matter. You do it very precisely because they do matter so bloody much. And so do you.

Heal from your grief….so that you don’t have to eventually get over them.