Healing the Pain of Loss and Death: A Unique Approach Called "The Switch"
by Brian Vaszily, founder of IntenseExperiences.com
The eighth experience in my #1 worldwide bestselling book, The 9 Intense Experiences
, is called “Embrace Death. Dance the Night Away.” In media interviews and letters from readers, many have told me that this experience is the most profound and transformative of all.
That is really not surprising, as nothing focuses you on who you really are, what matters most to you, and where you should truly be focused in life more powerfully than the inevitable fact of your death.
When someone you love has died, though, emotions like confusion, sadness, anger and loneliness will very likely feel like they are holding you back from fully living your life … and sometimes from wanting to fully live your life.
First of all, these emotions are not only natural but also necessary. They are part of the grieving process.
It may be little or no consolation to those in the throes of these emotions, but the truth is that the pain of loss means that you were given the greatest gift of all – someone to love that much, something in this life whose loss is worth that grief. That really is far greater than a life with no such gift.
Still, while grief at the death of a loved one is a natural part of the gift of love, there are coping strategies that can help ease the pain of loss and enable you to move forward in your life.
Two of the most powerful that I used in response to my father’s death years ago, and that I have encouraged others to use in response to the death of their children, spouses, parents and even pets and that they have found worthwhile, are what I call “The Switch: Part 1” and “The Switch: Part 2.”
The Switch: Part 1
Now the following may seem obvious to those who are not in grief, but if you are in grief you can so often be mired in the avalanche of emotions that you forget the power and beauty of empathy. And therefore this experience can provide strong revelation, and comfort:
Switch places with your dearly departed.
Look closely through their eyes, heart, and soul back at you.
It doesn’t matter what your beliefs are about life after death. You loved this being while they were here on earth. In your heart you have their perspective on you... their clear perspective now, minus any anger, jealousy and confusion they may have carried that clouded their perspective while they were still on earth.
You have them in your heart, so switch places. You can do this.What is it that they would be feeling for you?
Would they want you to be paralyzed by emotions? Or would they want you to acknowledge those emotions but keep moving forward to new experiences, to achieving goals and finding goals to achieve... to living the richest, fullest life you can, even though sometimes right now trying to do so is hard?
What is it that they would want for you?
Now switch back to you again.
Out of your deep love and respect for your dearly departed, there is one more gift you can give them, and it is a gift they would most appreciate: you fully living the rest of your life.
The Switch: Part 2
Switch places with your dearly departed.
But this time, do so in the sense that you are the one who died, and they are the one who lived.
And then, being the departed one – and therefore being freed of limiting human emotions like jealousy and anger -- ask yourself how you’d want that person you love to feel and what you’d hope they would do while they’re still there living on earth.
Obviously they would feel the pain of loss and the other natural stages of grief for your death, but would you want them to move forward in life and keep trying new experiences?
Would you want them to pursue existing goals, and find new goals to pursue?
Would you want them to find and feel love again?
Feel and consider these questions deeply.
Then switch back.
And move forward... yes, sometimes it will feel like pushing versus moving, but that will lessen over time... so move forward toward living the life you’d hope your loved one would live if they were in your shoes.
You both deserve that.
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