Have you ever been in such a dark place that you thought there was no way out? You experienced the death of someone you love, the end of a romantic relationship, or the loss of yourself?
This past weekend I had the unique opportunity to interview dozens of Grief Recovery Specialists about their stories, their recovery, and how they are helping others.
You may not know this, but the 4 Day Grief Recovery Method Certification course, that I have the privilege to teach, is the absolute best education in grief recovery out there. We teach counselors, clergy, social workers, funeral directors, hospice nurses, coaches, and people who have experienced the work and want to help others.
It is a unique certification because the first couple days are personal work, meaning we have everyone take off their professional hat and step into their personal grief. We believe that you are only able to take others as far as you are willing to go.
If you didn’t know it all ready, everyone is a griever. Whether you have had a traditional loss like a death, or one of the 43 other losses that are considered grieving experiences, we all grieve.
And -- helping grievers isn’t a profession you choose -- it chooses you.
So, here we are at the first ever Grief Recovery Method International Conference in Los Angeles, California, with people from all over the world who have been helping grievers anywhere from a few months to 35 years, and I got to sit one on one with them and hear their stories.
Here are a few of the things I learned after listening to dozens of people share their life experiences, how the method helped them, and what they are doing as specialists:
1) People endure some serious $#!t in their lives.
2) Most people found The Grief Recovery Institute either to help others (typically in denial that they themselves had losses until they went to the training) or because they were so desperate to get help because the pain was NOT going away.
3) The human spirit is resilient if the person DECIDES that they don’t want their pain to destroy them.
4) Once we have completed the pain of our loss, almost every person said something about a HUGE weight being lifted off their shoulders, heart, or back.
5) Once people have done the Grief Recovery Method they begin feeling the light coming back into their eyes.
6) Most of these people were skeptical going into it because they had tried so many things that hadn’t worked, but were shocked and humbled by the simplicity and effectiveness of the work.
7) They were so grateful to get back to living that they wanted to share the method with anyone who was looking for a way to heal their broken heart.
8) These people didn’t just stop when they finished the first workshop; they stayed in the work and continued using the tools they learned for all of their relationships and experiences that caused pain in their lives.
9) The Grief Recovery Method some way or another “saved their life,” “was a miracle,” or reconnected them with their family.
10) There is hope to LIVE even when you have endured deep, deep heartache.
Look, I was already drinking the Kool-Aid, as I am one a handful of trainers in the United States who gets to teach this method.
But man -- I was still blown away.
People were waiting in line to give their testimonies, and some waited hours after the conference was over.
Do you know why?
Because they wanted to share their gratitude about how The Grief Recovery Method saved their life.
So why am I telling you this? Because I have to tell someone how amazing this weekend was. Because I want to share this inspiring, hopeful message with anyone who needs to hear it. Because I am grateful that I get to help people recover from heartache, and I want to help more.
I gave the last testimonial of the night. Here's what I said,
“The Grief Recovery Method has absolutely changed my life. I get to remember my mom fondly every day of my life. When I miss her, I know that is okay. When other people are going through hard times, I feel confident I can support them. I no longer feel like I have to ignore anything that isn’t happiness… which makes me so much more real. My being able to be my true self helps me connect more deeply with my family, friends, and clients. I am truly grateful for this work, and I hope I get to share it with as many people as I can for the rest of my life.”