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The conditions you need to meet before you can heal

I’ve been reflecting on a few conversations I’ve had recently and emails from people asking about working with me. And it’s got me thinking too about so many of the people I’ve worked with over the years and some of their initial worries.

A very common concern from folk is that they have something particular about them that means that they can’t heal, or can’t heal yet (i.e there is some issue they have to resolve first), or that this healing work just won’t work for them.

Here are some of the concerns people have had. Some may apply to you too.

  • That you are just in way too much grief to heal.
  • That you aren’t in enough grief.
  • That you are dealing with multiple deaths, maybe far apart, maybe very close together.
  • That you have mental health issues – perhaps depression or anxiety – maybe long-running, maybe new, but definitely exacerbated by your grief.
  • That your grief is “complicated” – whether you see it this way yourself or a professional has told you this.
  • That this death is worse than others because of the circumstances i.e. because of the cause of death, the timing of death, the age of the person who died, who was responsible for the death, what secrets the death has brought up, etc.
  • That this death is worse than others because of the impact on you i.e. you’re in more profound pain…or anger…or fear…or whatever, than you’ve experienced before or had anticipated or can cope with.
  • That your family are very close. Or were very close. Or weren’t very close. Or aren’t close anymore. Or hate each other. Or don’t exist.
  • That your whole family feels the way you do. Or that none of them do and you feel alone.
  • That you haven’t done any coaching work before. Or that you’ve done loads of coaching work before.
  • That you’ve been having grief counselling for years and haven’t gotten where you wanted. Or that you’ve had no counselling whatsoever.
  • That the death/s was a very long time ago.
  • That you don’t remember them or details about them or their deaths very clearly, for whatever reason.
  • That you are also struggling because of the circumstances of the last couple of years i.e. covid, lockdowns, isolation, and all that came with this (like pretty much everyone else!)
  • That your relationship has broken up/ you’ve been diagnosed with cancer/ you’ve lost your job/ your dog ate your cat/ your house fell into a sinkhole/ you’ve learnt you were adopted/ your son married a woman you don’t like/ aliens abducted you…at the same time as you’ve been dealing with this death. i.e you’ve got other shit going on in your life that is also problematic for you. Maybe quite a bit of it.
  • That you don’t have the highest IQ in the world.
  • That there are ‘complications’ in your background with this person – love, hate, abuse, violence, secrets, etc, etc
  • That you don’t believe in God and heaven. Or that you do believe in God and heaven. Or that you believe we live on a prison planet and are here to suffer as punishment. Or you believe this life is merely a simulation and we are online characters, existing for the amusement of some alien race. Basically that your beliefs, whatever they might be or not, could be a problem.
  • That you are too fat, too thin, too short, too tall, have too many toes…or not enough toes.
  • That you got drunk one night as a teenager and got a really crappy tattoo.
  • That you are a dog person, not a cat person.
  • That you didn’t enjoy the new Top Gun movie. (Wait…what ??!!)
  • That you have just too many damn wrinkles.

Ok, so I wandered off topic a bit with those last few….but hopefully you get my drift. Almost everyone who wants to heal their grief has concerns about whether they can because of situation A,B,C, D etc.

The thing is that absolutely none of it matters. None of it. When it comes to healing from grief there are only TWO conditions that need to be met to be able to heal your grief permanently. And these two have nothing to do with stories – the stories of their death, your story, the story of you and them or anyone else, the stories of life and the world.

Nope, the only two things that matter are:

  1. Whether you actually want to heal your grief. (Taking into account the reservations that everyone has initially to some degree. So as long as you want to heal mostly). And…
  2. Whether you’re prepared to put the in the work that it takes to heal.

That’s it.

There is nothing else that excludes you from the opportunity to heal, no matter what your chatty wee brain has to say on the matter.

Believe me, in many years of doing this work Ive heard so many different circumstances, scenarios, complications and stories, and none of it means a thing about anyones capacity to heal.

When I speak to someone to see if we’re a fit to work together it is this that I look for – do they want to heal and will they put in the work to get there? The rest is nothing more than the information we’ll be working with.

So if you’ve found yourself telling yourself reasons why healing from grief might work for me and for others, but not for you, then check the reasons you’re telling yourself why….and let them go. Simply ask yourself those two questions – do I want to and am I prepared to work for it?…and you’ll have your answer.

Much love,