Here’s a real life situation, that at some time or another, we all face — grieving a loss of something we love. It may be a person, a situation, an end of a relationship, loss of a job, or in my case, loss of a beloved pet. There’s nothing quite as painful as the heartbreak of loss.
If you’ve been following me for a while now, you may have heard the story of Rambo Ram Dass, my pit bull spiritual warrior. I call him my spiritual warrior because he taught me some of the most important lessons during my healing journey. He helped me regain my spiritual strength, and lead me to reconnect with my healing practices.
He and I had an energetic connection. We talked through spirit rather than words. When he would go off exploring on the farm, he rarely would come when called. Instead, when I called him through my heart energy, silently, he’d come trotting up the path towards me.
Over the past 3 months he had been ill, swollen lymph nodes, infection in the lungs, enlarged heart. And on Saturday, while we were visiting the vet for another treatment, he died in my arms. He was 5 years old.
Now, I’m not going to lie, the last couple of months have really sucked. But when the weight of grief begins to settle in, I try to catch it, recognize it, thank it for allowing me to feel, and then I do my best to turn that sorrow into gratitude. And here’s the thing, research is showing that transforming sorrow into gratitude, while challenging, can have strong emotional and mental benefits.
According to a decade’s worth of research on gratitude by Robert Emmons of Berkeley University, it’s clear that no one “feels” grateful when faced with the loss of something dear to them. What is clear, is the difference between “feeling” grateful and “being” grateful. In my case, I don’t “feel” grateful that my sweet dog has died, but I AM grateful for all that he taught me, all the joy that he brought to my life.
So, while I can’t will myself to feel less sadness about this loss, I can honor these feelings with making the choice to be grateful for our time together.
Another aspect of the research tells us that being grateful helps us cope with crisis. Cultivating an attitude of gratitude builds up our psychological immune system that supports us in hard times. The science shows that when people express gratitude they are more resistant to stress.
So don’t push away the sorrow, after all, life has it’s disappointments, frustrations, losses, setbacks and sadness. Life includes suffering. When we view life through an attitude of gratitude, we are not denying our suffering. Instead, we realize the power we have within us to overcome and transform the suffering into finding closure and letting go of difficult memories.
Emmons found evidence of these 3 conclusions:
- Gratitude can be an overwhelming intense feeling.
- Gratitude for the gifts that others easily overlook most can be the most powerful and frequent form of thankfulness.
- Gratitude can be chosen in spite of one’s situation or circumstance.
Healing from grief is a process, and I’m on the journey to healing my broken heart. I’m truly grateful to have loved this pup so deeply, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. And gratitude, I’m finding, is the cure for this broken heart.
How has gratitude helped you deal with crisis or loss? I’d love to know. Just hit the reply button and send me a reply message. I always appreciate hearing from you.
Infinite ∞ Love,
P.S. By the way, if your ready to experience my transformation magic, here are some ways to do it…
1. Join my LYN Facebook Group
2. Attend a LIVE and INTERACTIVE Intention Ritual
3. Book a Personal Strategy Session with me
4. Work with me LIVE at IGNITE 2020 Retreat January 3-6