When my mom passed away in January of 2005, I went numb right away. I was amazed at the level of numbness I was experiencing and I had never experienced anything like that before. I was exhausted. I couldn’t think. I didn’t know how to move beyond this.
I was working with clients on numbness shortly before my mom’s passing. All of my clients were numb and were actively trying to remain numb. They were all grieving something – a lost job, a lost relationship, a lost youth, a lost part of themselves or any number of experiences that they were trying to numb-out from. They were desperately trying to remain numb as they moved forward.
Numbness is often achieved through multiple avenues. Extra weight leads to numbness. Overeating leads to numbness. Excess drinking leads to numbness. Overworking leads to numbness and so on.
Numbness limits your capacity to cope. As your capacity to cope goes down, your stress levels go up. As your stress levels go up, your cortisol and adrenaline levels go up which reduces your capacity to cope even more and round and round you go.
I learned from my own experience and from interacting with my clients that you can’t remain numb and move forward. The two don’t work together. In order to heal, you need to feel. You need to be emotionally involved in your own life. Most people are emotionally involved in other people’s lives and an “extra” in their own life.
The body’s innate wisdom favors feeling over numbness. That is why it is SO hard to remain numb and why you have to really work at numbing yourself. Numbness leads to rotting. As an example, look at someone with diabetes. People with diabetes often lose the feeling in their feet. As the numbness progresses, infections in their feet go unnoticed. Eventually, some diabetics end up having their feet amputated. If they were able to feel their feet, they would have been able to heal their feet before it became too late.
In a sense, this is what happens to people who actively pursue numbness as a life strategy; parts of themselves – their creativity, their connections with others, their joy, their sense of wholeness – are cut off. Fortunately, these areas can be restored when you start to feel.
What are you afraid to feel? What are you trying to numb yourself from? Feeling is the word we use to describe our conscious awareness of our vibration. What vibration are you trying to block out?
Meaning comes from the mind. The mind is an activity. It is not a thing. Experiences or events have no inherent meaning until your mind gives them meaning. You do not know for sure the meaning of an experience or event. Meaningless experiences can’t make you feel anything. This does not imply that what happened to you doesn’t matter. It simply means that the experience has no meaning until you give it meaning. The meaning you give to something leads to the feeling you now have around it. This leads to the beliefs you have now formed about yourself.
What if the meaning you gave to an experience was an incorrect interpretation of the experience? What if you are trying to remain numb because in your heart you know that the meaning you gave to an experience – I’m stupid. I deserved that. No one cares about me. I am all alone. I am useless. – is the wrong meaning?
That which is false troubles the heart – Rumi
Your emotional heart knows when the meaning you give to something is a lie. This sets up a vibration in the body that is incongruent with the perfection of who you really are. Instead of changing the meaning that you have given to the experience, you start to numb out.
Why not change the meaning? You can change the meaning through cellular reprogramming. If you change the meaning you have given to your experiences, the vibration in your body would change. As the vibration in your body changes, the incongruencies that you experienced would diminish. As these vibrational incongruencies diminish, you would no longer need to numb yourself.
What does any of this have to do with healing grief and moving forward? Healing grief is a process of changing your vibration. It is a process of going from where you are right now – numbness, despair, heartbreak - to lightheartedness. As your vibration lightens up, your grief lightens up. All healing occurs at the vibrational level. Vibrationally, you can’t be lighthearted and numb. Numbness carries a heavy vibration. Lightheartedness carries a light vibration. You can’t carry a light vibration and carry around numbness and grief. It simply can’t happen.
The first step in changing your vibration of grief is to move out of numbness. As stated earlier, you can’t heal until you feel. You need to start feeling in order to heal your grief and move forward.