This is a common feeling for so many people at this time of year. When we think of loved ones that we’ve lost, we tend to lean towards sadness or grief. And while I believe that sadness is a perfectly normal part of grief, that doesn’t mean we have to unnecessarily suffer. So, I want to share with you today how to decrease any unnecessary suffering you’re going through this holiday season.
Join me on the podcast today to discover how to process your holiday grief in a healthy way. I’m sharing how we naturally want to argue with what is and how we’re feeling, why doing this is making us suffer unnecessarily, and what you can do to consciously decide to feel differently in this moment.
You are listening to episode 13 of the Wealthy Happy Soul Podcast: Holiday Grief.
Welcome to The Wealthy Happy Soul Podcast, a show for high achievers who are ready to start enjoying the life they’ve worked so hard to create. Join me, your host and certified life coach Dr. Tangie, to learn how to start infusing the dedication you have for your career into living a truly fulfilling life. If you’re ready to finally gain the happiness your soul has been longing for, this podcast is for you.
Welcome everybody. I am so happy you are here. Welcome to episode 13. I want to start off by saying congratulations to NAH429, who is the latest winner of the podcast giveaway. You are the $100 richer. Thank you for your review which reads, “This is amazingly amazing. I can’t wait to hear the next one. I learned so much in the first. I am so happy to have this great assistance. I didn’t realize there was a difference with burnout and success exhaustion. Dr. Tangie is absolutely awesome with her teachings.”
And NAH429, thank you once again for that review, I will be in touch with you shortly by email. And just a reminder so you don’t miss out on the giveaway I’m doing. I still have two $100 gift cards left. They’re going quick. And all you have to do in order to be entered to win one of them is to leave me a review on this podcast on iTunes.
Then please screenshot your review and email it to me at email@example.com. Otherwise I won’t be able to enter you to win one of the two $100 gift cards that I have left, because iTunes does not give me a way to contact you when you leave a review. And of course this goes for everybody else who’s already left me a review, please don’t forget, screenshot it, email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org, otherwise I have no idea who you are and I won’t have a way to reach out even if you did win.
And with that being said happy thanksgiving to all of you, I hope the kickoff of your holiday season is going well. I’m actually recording this before the holiday but when you actually listen to this, me and my family will be in the Florida Keys. And to keep proper social distancing we decided to charter a yacht for the week and sail around the Keys. How fun is that?
I am so beyond grateful for this life and actually allowing myself to dream about things I never thought would be possible for me or attainable. And then after that, giving myself the permission to not only pursue those things but also the opportunity to grow into the person who becomes a doctor, who becomes a philanthropist, who becomes a life coach, and a business owner. And who happens to charter yachts for thanksgiving week. Humble brag.
And at the same time in the midst of all of this really juicy goodness there’s a part of me that really wishes my grandmother were here to enjoy it all. And who really wishes that the other members of my family who passed away, and my dog, Gabby, who passed away. I wish they were all here to enjoy it all, but they’re not. And you know what? That kind of makes me sad.
I know that they would have really loved this experience and they would have really been proud of the life that I’ve been able to create for myself, of the life that my parents have been able to create, that my brothers have been able to create. That this new generation in our family is creating for themselves. And that got me to thinking that when we think of loved ones, who are no longer here and a part of our lives, sometimes we tend to trend towards sadness or grief, which by the way, is perfectly normal because if you continue living, we all go through this at some point.
And while I believe that sadness is a very real and normal part of grief, what I also believe is that when we are processing our sadness, that doesn’t mean we have to unnecessarily suffer. And let me give a little bit of further explanation. By now if you’ve listened to the podcast, but I understand that some of you are new, I hope that I’ve properly conveyed that I am a really big believer in fully feeling life, the good, the bad, the 50/50 of all of it.
I am a big believer in feeling all of it to the best of our ability, not just sadness but all of the emotions. So, sadness and grief to me is really when I think about the bare bones of it, an emotion, or a surge of energy at a certain vibration that runs through your body when you have a thought about your loved one. Or it could be any other situation, and that thought triggers the feeling of being sad. And when I say unnecessarily suffer, what I mean by that is suffering I feel is a continuous and prolonged emotional pain that is associated with negative emotion.
And much of the time due to us either resisting them or by operating in denial, whether that’s denying we are feeling negative emotion, whether it’s denying we are experiencing emotional pain. Or whether it’s denying we should even be in this emotional pain in the first place, because many of us have been taught that if things aren’t all good then something’s gone wrong.
And what I’ve learned and what I want to share with you are ways that, while you are understandably sad, I’m sad. You can decrease any unnecessary suffering that you might be experiencing during this holiday season. And I’m pretty certain that none of our loved ones who have graduated to the next phase would want any of us to live in perpetual emotional pain and suffering for the rest of our lives. So how do you begin to process this holiday grief so it doesn’t begin to overtake you?
And the first piece of advice I have is to really acknowledge sadness when it shows up for you because usually what we do instead of allowing ourselves to embrace our grief, we tend to numb it, and medicate it. We tend to dismiss it. We tend to divert our attention so that we never have to face it. But ironically by refusing to acknowledge it, what we may be doing is prolonging it. And at times what we may be doing is suppressing it.
And when I say suppress, as I’m talking I’m just getting this image in my head of a beach ball and being at the beach and there’s this beach ball which is the sadness and the grief. And we don’t even want to acknowledge its existence. And so we tend to press it down, down, down.
Imagine if you were to do that in the ocean. And then all of a sudden one day when you kind of let go, it just goes flies back up and just kind of smacks you in the face seemingly out of nowhere. But it’s because you’ve repressed it and then there’s physics and things like that, that don’t really happen with emotions, but for analogy’s sake, that’s kind of what’s happening. And what I want you to know is that grief can’t be solved by avoiding it. And you might try to avoid your grief by staying busy. But that’s not something you can just kind of stuff away.
You can’t stuff your grief into an overhead compartment without something eventually falling on your head sooner or later. And what you’re going to find is if you try to do this, your grief and your sadness and everything you’ve been avoiding processing will be waiting for you at some point in time. And it will eventually get your attention.
And so the second thing I would like to offer is to practice the art of acceptance. And as difficult as it may sound to you right now, you are going to need to take your very best shot at accepting that something has happened to cause you grief. And please keep in mind that acceptance doesn’t have to mean being nonchalant about the pain and the hurt, because those things are very real.
I think Byron Katie conveys this idea really well. There are two variations of this quote that she has that really blow your mind when you begin to think about it. The first variation is when you argue against reality you suffer. And the second variation is when you argue against reality you lose, but only 100% of the time. Grief, it’s shocking. Death is shocking, and the idea that life can just change in an instant like that, whether it’s through death or a divorce. And this year a lot of people are grieving about Covid and not being able to celebrate in the ways that they normally would.
What’s happening is these are things that we don’t focus on continuously. We focus on the details of our everyday life. We focus on getting up and going to work. We focus on getting the kids ready if you have kids. We focus on that person in our life. But we very often don’t consciously think about things like death and that’s why it is such a shock to our system. And we get into this shouldn’t have happened and this person should still be here.
And what I want to say is that the phrase, ‘this is how it should be’ or any variation of that is always going to be really painful for you and for me, because I still do it. I still think my grandmother should be here. I still think other people should be here. But not only does this is how it should be, argue against reality and the way things actually are. It actually robs us of the richness and the abundance of love and joy and every other good thing that we have right now, the people we have right now, the blessings we have right now.
And what I like to do when I start to go down this road is to think for a moment that if by chance things were exactly how they should be in my mind, if all the people were here that should be here. What is it that I would like to be feeling? How would I feel? What is it that I’m looking to recreate emotionally with the physical presence of that person?
And then once I come up with that feeling, or that emotion, or that nostalgia, I like to remind myself that I have the ability to feel that way right now. The ability to feel that way is available to me right now even though nothing has changed, even though I don’t have that ability to physically bring my loved one back, even though I can’t do anything about this loss through death.
But here’s one thing that I do know. While we may not have been given the power to change the things that have already occurred, we don’t have the power to change what’s real and what’s true in this world that we see. What we do have the power to do is change how we deal with the challenge of grief. And one of the most valuable things I’ve learned is to realize that any relationship with any person living or dead is made or broken by my thoughts.
And here’s what I mean by that. At the bare bones of any and all relationships is a series of thoughts that you have about another person that produce an overall experience of that person for you. And in my opinion that relationship doesn’t have to end just because a person or a pet has passed on and is no longer in your life. The really beautiful thing about our mind is that people never die there. And you can choose at any time how you want to think and feel about them. Love is always available to you as an option even if you had a rocky time while they were still living.
Much of our suffering comes from rehashing things that were never said. But you can still say them and mean them now. You can still accept the healing that comes from that. It really is available to you now. And as long as you have a brain that is able to think thoughts and remember your loved ones, you can do this at any time.
One thing that tickles me is that I was pretty close with my grandmother while she was alive. But I feel like I’m so much closer to her after she passed on because I still think about her a lot. I still talk to her a lot. I still make that love between us available to me every day, even though she’s gone. And what I’ve learned is that just like any relationship over time it grows in closeness. And I know it sounds a little bit weird but it’s really such a very powerful and almost magical thing if you start to live by this principle.
And lastly I just want to say do not be afraid to ask for help if it gets to be too much. A coach can help you with the first three things we discussed. But please, reach out to a qualified mental health professional if it gets to be too much. If you start to experience depression or thoughts of harm, please make an appointment with your therapist, or your psychiatrist, or you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1800 273 8255.
Listen, I know it’s hard and I have a really strong belief that you can overcome anything. Your life will eventually recover from your loss and it’s really surprising how good things can be after enough time has passed. And keeping this in mind you can then approach the future with the knowledge that you can handle anything life has in store. You will be stronger than you’ve ever been before. Listen, your feelings of hurt and this pain, they really don’t have any plans to last forever, it will get easier.
And as hard as it may be to accept right now, any affliction, hurt or pain you are experiencing helps to shape the person that you are becoming. Making your way to the end of the tunnel says a lot about your ability to overcome the worst and return to a happy peaceful state of being. And for that let’s be really grateful. Have a happy thanksgiving, family. I’ll talk to you next week.
Thank you for listening to The Wealthy Happy Soul Podcast. If you want to dive deeper into alignment and start cultivating your inner wealth, head on over to drtangie.com.