There are many kinds of losses that can trigger grief and there are many beliefs that can and do unnecessarily exacerbate the situation.
Understanding how our beliefs can harm us is an important part of the healing journey.
We all operate within a mental structure called our belief system most of which was developed before we even stepped into a school room. Some of our beliefs we adopted from our parents, our religion, our community, our culture and some we made up in an effort to explain to ourselves why things happened the way they did. In other words, our beliefs are not fact based but rather they are historical or reactionary. We don’t often question our beliefs because we think it’s just the way it is, even the stuff we made up to fill in the gaps between what was happening and what we understood about life.
One example from my life is from when my father left the family when I was just 3 years old. I was very close to my dad and had been the youngest in the family (my younger brother was born months after dad left). After many years of failed relationships and limitations in life I realized that I had made a decision (developed a belief) way back then that said I wasn’t wanted. I made that up because I had no idea why my beloved father left ‘me’ but I lived as though that was true. That belief was developed in my grief after losing my father (except for the occasional visit). You can imagine the impact of that kind of belief on every aspect of my life. Even now I have to be vigilant when things look certain ways that I don’t fall into the old trap of assuming ‘it’s because I’m not wanted’. 99% of the time I have no idea why things happen as they do but it sure doesn’t take long for the old belief system to kick in and fill in the blank.
After decades of self-examination and seeking the truth about what was really going on I finally came to realize that pretty much every limiting or negative belief I have had was grounded in some kind of loss whether my own or from someone who had influence on me. I’ve also come to realize that pretty much none of it is the truth, it’s all made up in a constant effort to understand life so that I will somehow feel safe or feel that I have some kind of control.
Sadly much of what we believe is not helpful however, most of the beliefs we developed to help us cope with our losses and our grief actually limit us in life. They prevent us from truly grieving our losses and in their effort to keep us safe they act like strait jackets, preventing us from fully engaging if life.
Learn more about how you can learn to recognize and start moving beyond some of these limiting beliefs at my Mending Broken Hearts seminars and in the 7 week Grief Recovery Programs I facilitate.
More info on my website www.yvonneracine.com.