The Value of Stability and What Can We Do when We Lose It?
We use stable points to understand and make sense of our lives. If every separate thing, every person and every idea had the same importance to us, life would be unmanageably chaotic.
The people we consider to be our nearest and dearest tend to occupy such a key role for us, along with ideas we have adopted through living, learning and observation. “I can count on my family” and “I know how to manage my life” are examples of stable ideas (and people) we can use organize our experience of living.
We might have the idea, “My boss is a good person.” We might lose that idea if the boss deliberately cheated someone and we observed it. We might have the stable idea that we lived in a safe place, until our house got broken into by burglars and we lost possessions that were important to us. We might feel competent to run our lives fairly well and keep things in order, until a hurricane or other natural disaster came along and destroyed our home and all our possessions.
We may have one or more key people who we love and spend most of our time with. The loss of one of our intimates can feel shattering, as we have lost not only the person and our relationship with them, but also the stability they provided for us. Even the loss of someone close to us with whom we have had a difficult relationship can shake our stability. This helps explain why bereavement (grief and mourning after the loss of a loved one) can have a profound impact.
What can we do to help us recover when we lose a key person in our lives?
Person-centered non-fixed-length sessions provide the opportunity to look into every aspect of a loss. It can be a great comfort, first of all, to talk as much as we wish about the person we have lost and our relationship with them with full attention and a lack of judgment or interpretation from our practitioner. Please note that loss of a pet is often experienced as being as painful as the loss of any other member of the family.
We can address the incident of loss itself as a traumatic incident and there may be other incidents that need addressing as well. Often when we suffer a loss, whether or not we are aware of it at the time, earlier losses may be triggered and add to our distress. Cleaning up these past losses can bring about a resurgence of energy and hope.
We can delve into all aspects of the relationship with our lost loved one in depth by using a technique called Unblocking. We can resolve unhandled upsets with our loved one, even though they are not here to talk with us. We can look at things we wish we had said to them, or heard from them, for that matter, releasing a lot of emotional charge as we go.
We can face up to the reality of life going on for us without our loved one. And we can re-experience happy times we have had in the past with them. As with all work of this kind, we continue working as long as we need to and want to. The outcome includes relief from intolerable emotional pain and discouragement, often some realizations along the way, and fresh hope for a positive future. Of course we will miss our friend, mate or family member, but the burden of pain is lifted and the good memories stay with us.
Long term focus on a loss can cost us awareness of the present good things, good people, and happy activities still available to us. Working through a loss allows us to regain that awareness.
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