Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Secrets for Healing #2

When I couldn't write, I would begin to pour out my heart through a conversation with God. I would literally bare my soul as I cried out to him with words that seemed to have no meaning. But He understood - He understands. It might not come as a surprise that the spoken word is another secret to healing. Isn't it amazing how we can speak things into our lives?

You may have heard the term, "self-fulfilling prophesy"? When a person repeatedly declares something, it usually becomes true - for that person. This seems to be factual for people regardless of their religious affiliation or views. The person who argues, "I can't lose weight," "I can't find a good or godly man," "I can't do this," etc. usually finds out that they are right! The same principle applies in grief work.

People will argue, "The pain never goes away," "My life will NEVER be better," "I'll never be happy again," or "I will never be a mother" ... and as she continues to speak those words into her life, it becomes true. Her joy is fleeting, she is plagued by depression, she becomes alienated as she loses friends and close relationships because her pain is so intense and no one seems to understand.

I'm not suggesting that grieving parents should say, "I'm happy" (although they could say it) when they are not. I am encouraging parents to reframe their words so that they don't trigger such a negative outcome.

Instead of: "The pain will never go away"
Try: "I don't know how this pain will be relieved"

Instead of: "I'll always be depressed"
Try: "I feel depressed right now"

Instead of: "No one understands"
Try: "I want to find someone who understands"

Instead of: "I'll never be a mother/father"
Try: "I want to be a mother/father!"

If you doubt the power of words reflect on this:

God SPOKE all of creation into existence. If you
invited God to live inside of you, doesn't that mean you also can speak some things into existence??

Share your thoughts.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Secrets for Healing #1

After my daughter, Elyana, died, I learned one of many secrets about how to heal a broken heart. The secret I will share here is simple, yet can get pretty complex rather quickly. If you want to release the painful feelings that often go along with grief here's what to do:

  1. Grab a pen and notebook.

  2. Start writing your baby's story. You can start where you feel most comfortable, but some have found it's easiest to begin - well, at the beginning. Try describing your pregnancy or time of life before things went terribly wrong. As your story moves forward, you may find your emotions grow more intense. When I wrote my babies' stories for my book Stolen Angels, I found that there were times when I couldn't even see the paper and could barely hold the pen because I was crying and shaking so much. This is when the writing process becomes more complex.

  3. Write through the pain. There might be memories you don't want to face. Emotions you don't want to process. You might be shocked by thoughts you don't know you have. But, keep writing. Grief work is hard work. You can't run from it, and you can't hide from it, but like a cornered animal you must put your back against the wall and fight your way out!

  4. After you write your baby's entire story, keep your notebook handy and continue to reflect on your feelings, hopes, sorrows, experiences at least once each day. The key is to stay in touch with how you feel - getting it outside of yourself, rather than keeping it inside. story

  5. Write this at the top of your first page - believe it - and refer to it often:

"Grief hurts me, it scars me, but I WILL survive today,
and Grief will not destroy me."