All right now. I realize these assumptions are going to be really challenging and may even be an affront to you right now. You may well feel that they diminish your sense of loss and may even imply that you are not entitled to feel what you are feeling. Well, let me say here and now that this is not the case.
As I said in the beginning, it is vitally important that you allow yourself to feel the grief and feel it fully. It doesn’t matter what these assumptions say. The truth is that you have experienced a loss that is painful, and it has left a big hole in your life.
However, by giving consideration to these assumptions, it affords the opportunity to separate the real pain from the suffering. There’s a difference. Let me explain. As I just pointed out, what you are experiencing is the loss of a friend, a spouse, a parent or even a child perhaps and the pain is absolutely real. What hurts is that they are not physically in your life any more, and you miss them terribly. That’s the pain.
The suffering, on the other hand, comes as a result of all the other thoughts that people typically attach to a death. The most common ones are, that it shouldn’t have happened, or it could have been prevented. It was tragic. He/she died too early. Someone is responsible and so on. That’s the suffering.
Now lay that suffering on top of the real pain of loss, and you have a recipe for torment that can last a very long time – years, perhaps. In the case of murder or where fault has to be established, the suffering can last for many years.
So, the idea is that when we open our minds to the possibility that all those ideas, thoughts and beliefs that magnify and support the suffering are actually not true and that there is another whole set of assumptions that offer a completely different meaning to what happened, it gives us a lot of relief. But what if they are not true, you may ask. So what? They are no less true than the other ideas that cause us a lot of pain, so why not choose to make assumptions that make you feel better?
And, by the way, notice I don’t use the term beliefs. Assumptions are not rigid like beliefs. We make assumptions knowing they might not be true, but they are the best we have right now. As I often say to people, both stories about death might well be wrong, but I prefer to hang out in the story that eases the pain and gives me solace. Which would you prefer? Would you rather be right or happy?
So just to be clear: The pain associated with your loss is real and only time will ease the pain. If you take away the death element, the pain is no different than if the person had left and gone to live in another part of the world where there was no internet and no phone, and you knew you would never see them again. That’s the pain of loss and, I repeat, only time will ease it.
The suffering, on the other hand, is a choice. If you choose to hang out in the belief system that causes the suffering and you want to add that to your pain of loss, it’s your right to do that. But I will not support you in that.
What I will do, and what I am doing with this program is to encourage you to make the choice to let go of the suffering by opening your mind to a different set of assumptions. And as a consequence of doing that, to find a large measure of peace right away. That’s the purpose of this program.
We have created the tools to help you do that, so we know you can do it. We know this stuff works. We’ve been doing it now for more than 20 years.
So, in the exercise that follows, go back over those assumptions again, and then decide which ones you are willing to accept as reasonable and those you just cannot accept. You can also add some of your own.
And then, after you have done that, listen to the 13-Steps to Radical Grieving. Answer “Yes” to all the questions no matter what your mind says, and then see how you feel afterwards. You might find something has happened. And by the way, this is not hypnosis or any other mind altering process, so don’t worry about that. It just speaks to the part of you that is spiritually connected.