When I went to my first Grief Recovery Method Certification Training over 25 years ago I didn't know that grief was affecting my life. I showed up at The Grief Recovery Institute to learn how to help other people. Little did I know that I had unresolved grief too.
On the first day of training I learned the definitions of grief:
- Grief is the normal and natural reaction to significant emotional loss of any kind.
- Grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of, or change in, a familiar pattern of behavior.
- Grief is the feeling of reaching out for someone who has always been there, only to find when you need them again, they are no longer there.
I learned that there aren’t stages of grief, but rather common responses to grief, like having a hard time concentrating or feeling numb.
I learned that there are over 43 types of losses. I was under the impression that only death and divorce caused grief but had no idea that anything else did. It sounds funny for me to say that seeing as my dad, John W. James, founded The Grief Recovery Institute, but you know teenagers don’t always pay attention to their parents! I fell victim to what society teaches, just like anyone else does.
During that Certification Training was the first time that I realized that the Loss of Trust and Safety that I experienced from sexual abuse when I was a child most certainly made me a griever.
I didn’t know that I could grieve the loss of my abuser who was an adult that I trusted.
Don’t get me wrong, I knew that I used sarcasm and humor to keep people from getting close to me. I knew that I gambled, stayed up all night at clubs, and did anything possible to avoid being alone with my thoughts, but I never related any of those things to unresolved grief.
On day three of the Certification Training, I had a physical response to the emotional work I had done. I realized that my shoulders, which had made permanent residence near my ears, had dropped 6 inches lower than normal. It was the first time in my life that I remember feeling relaxed.
The physical freedom was only the beginning. I learned the freedom of forgiveness. I learned the freedom of being vulnerable with other people. I learned the freedom of being complete with the past.
The Grief Recovery Method taught me that with a little open-mindedness and courage I could experience freedom like I never had before….at the same time, I’d have to be willing to continue using the tools. I had to apply those tools in my current relationships, so I didn’t carry baggage into my future relationships.
What a gift.
And to think, I showed up to learn how to help others. What I found was that I could be most effective only after learning how to help myself first.
Are you interested in experiencing The Grief Recovery Method for yourself?
Here is more about the 2 ½ Day Personal Workshop for grievers: griefrecoverymethod.com/our-programs/2-day-personal-workshops
Here is more about The Grief Recovery Certification Training for people that want to help grievers: griefrecoverymethod.com/certification-training