Going through trials and trauma are
not easy for anyone. The key is to not allow the past and actions of
others to control you now or your future. We can't go back and change
the things we went through. But we can learn from them and heal
ourselves in the process. My motto is: "You cannot change the past. You
can only change the way you allow the past to affect your present and
ever the situation,
making change to deal with the trials of life, or letting go of the
past is not easy for anyone. No matter what the situation or what the
be it the death of a loved one, the loss of a friendship or love
relationship, the loss of innocence, allowing drugs or alcohol to
control your path or a hurt that has been felt and carried for a long
our psyche goes through a period of mourning.
In today's world the line between
Psychology, Therapy and Spirituality is growing thinner. Working on the
issues in one's life doesn't mean throwing out your beliefs, nor does
it mean your personal views and spiritual practices will be under
scrutiny. Rather there is a growing movement to understand how both the
mainstream concepts of therapy can be supported, expanded and enhanced
by the spiritual beliefs of an individual. . After all, when more than
80% of the worlds population holds some type of spiritual belief, why
wouldn't we try to understand the human condition from both a physical
and spiritual perspective. No matter what that path of spirituality is.
Merging Therapy with
The movement to merge psychology and
spirituality together again has been progressing for decades. It seems
our modern times have finally accepted or broadened the definition of
'spiritual' to mean more than just mainstream religious beliefs. Today
more alternative beliefs are coming out of the closet and working to
reconcile the spiritual and physical aspects of our human self for
healing the whole of a person; mind/body/spirit.
Long after the Freudians a new concept of
psychology began to develop known as Existential thought. This therapy
starts with the belief that although humans are essentially alone in
the world, but we long to be connected to others. People want to have
meaning in each other's lives, but ultimately we must come to realize
that we cannot depend on others for our validation. The result of this
revelation is anxiety in the knowledge that our validation must come
from within and not from others.
This perspective is widely held in
Metaphysics as an accurate hypothesis for discussing the responsibility
of the soul to the choices and conditions of the individual spirit. In
other words, we cannot blame others for the choices we have made, nor
the spiritual choices we selected to work through in this incarnated
In 1980, Irvine Yalom identified four major
areas of existential thought. He defined these as Death, Freedom and
Responsibility, Isolation and Loneliness, and Meaninglessness. Yalom
suggests these areas do not answer the ultimate questions, but rather
views them existential fears, which individuals must learn to cope or
In Yalom's area of Death, he suggests it
refers to the cycle of life and that of a physical death. But it is
also symbolic of human limitations or what we might break down into
situations of life. Which can cover the end of a relationship, job,
lifestyle or any number of emotional criteria that affect the human
Yalom's existential thought defines Meaning
as the meaning behind life. This search for meaning can be summed up as
the center of the existential issues and stands behind or underlies all
the areas of this approach to therapy. Simply put, individuals feel the
need and are almost driven to find the meaning behind things. To attain
the answer to why and reasoning of a situation or event.
Spiritual Psychologists can build on these
concepts of Existential Psychology which support religious concepts to
a point. We can add to them the affects and influences of the spirit
and spiritual belief of the individual and broaden the search for the
answers of why and how come. Including in the analysis, the concepts of
reincarnation, karma, and spiritual lessons that can help individuals
discover the answers they seek to these ultimate questions of the
Meaning of life.
The Mind, Body, Spirit
In 1994, Michelle Lusson described
Spiritual Psychology as a method that seeks to understand the three
layers of the human being. The person we display to the world, the
person we see our self as, and the person we really are within our
spiritual existence. This process of understanding helps an individual
gain insight into the trials we feel that have moved us away from our
spiritual path, created karma, and consequently caused us to feel
separated from the Divine force within our life and our own Higher
Self. Through spiritual work and therapy, we can let go of these pains
and fears to gain understanding about the lessons our soul seeks to
acquire and to see ourselves in a new light. To bring about a holistic
healing for the whole being of mind, body and spirit.
Additionally, these layers of the human are
represented in the levels of being or the Mind, Body and Spirit
Consciousness of an individual. Through an understanding of who we are
at a sub-atomic level, we can begin to see how the layers of an
individual are developed, intertwined and support or hold back the
mental health of a person.
Mind, Body and Spirit
Everyone has heard about these bodies of existence known as the mind,
body and spirit. But how are these areas related to the individual
human. In the simplest of terms, we are made up of 4 levels of being.
1. The physical being - the physical mind
2. The soul being - the soul mind (mind)
3. The spiritual being - the spirit mind (spirit)
4. The Divine Consciousness - the Divine mind
These levels of being, the Mind (2), Body (1) and Spirit (3) can be
seen in action when we look at the corresponding levels of
consciousness within the individual self.
The Conscious Self: The Physical Mind
The physical brain is the mind of the Body. This is the individual's
conscious mind, the part of the self that governs day-to-day
activities. Where individual reasons and processes information that
interact with and where they hold their current life memories.
The Higher Conscious Self: The Soul Mind
The sub-consciousness is the mind of the Soul. This area of being is
also called the higher consciousness of the self. This is the part of
the self that talks to an individual's conscious mind and represents
the true self of a person; this is the spiritual presence in this
incarnation. If an individual is someone who holds a lot of doubts
about who they are, those thoughts are held in the subconscious mind.
No matter what the physical mind does, or tries to present to others,
the energy behind the doubt is still held in the subconscious mind.
This is one of the reasons that what an individual thinks of them self
is so important to their overall health. To over come obstacles, an
individual must start with their subconscious mind.
The Super Conscious Self: The Spirit Mind
The super consciousness is the mind of the Spirit. This is where an
individual holds the aspect of the Divine within them self. Some call
this level of consciousness the Divine Self or the God-Self. You might
think of this as the controlling mind of the whole being. This is where
an individual holds all past life memories; it's their reasoning center
for making choices on a spiritual level, and the connection or bridge
to the greater Universal Divine Spirit.
The Divine Consciousness: The Universal Connection
The Divine Spirit is "The Everything, The All" that exists. It's
everything connected together through out all of creation through
energy. It is, for lack of a better word "God" and we are each part of
and connected to that Divine consciousness. The Divine Conscious mind
within an individual is the connection or bridge to the knowledge and
energy of the greater Universal Divine Spirit.
Spiritual Psychology strives to help an
individual discover the knowledge, wisdom and the answers they hold
within their levels of Consciousness. Not just to understand whom they
are and why they are here, but also to help face the challenges of
life. To discover understanding behind the issues or events that cross
their path in order to address them and heal from them when
appropriate. It works to build a bridge between each of these levels to
work together in harmony instead of as individual components that can
sometimes work against the individual.
From this perspective, handling day-to-day
trials and traumas can be learning lessons for the soul and
provide experiences to evolve the spirit. Understanding the spiritual
lesson, connections and karma behind an event can lesson the confusion,
ease the pain and help an individual heal from the grief associated
with any situation. It's through combining these two approaches of
Existential Therapy and Spiritual Psychology that an individual can
face grief and deal with the trials it may bring into their lives.
What Is Grief
Grief occurs from a large number of events
in an individual's life. It is during Grief that many people feel the
most alone and segregated from the world around them. Perhaps in this
context, Grief is the ultimate example of Existentialism in action.
Grief comes in many forms of loss. Loss of
a loved one, a relationship, a family pet, a job, one's health or
independence, even one's own freedom. And dealing with loss comes in
many forms, from depression to denial or more serious reactions that
affect an individual's well being and mental health. We all have a way
of dealing with every day grief, but I think everyone would agree that
prolonged grief is never a good idea and can be detrimental to the
wholeness of mind, body and spirit.
The Phases of Grief
Grieving itself is a very individualistic
emotion. No two people will approach grief in the same way. It has been
my experience that it can be sometimes dangerous to assume that
everyone will react in the same way to a traumatic situation or event.
Individuals can through extremes of emotions from shock, denial, and
anger or experience a total break down in emotion that boarders on
emotionless expressions or the alternative extreme, hysteria.
We can define the phases of grief into a
structured and simplified set of stages for any individual to apply to
Shock / Acknowledgment
Shock is often the first stage of grief. It
is accompanied with
disbelief or not wanting to acknowledge the loss. On some level most
people acknowledge the notification of news of a loss. Assault victims
may subconsciously acknowledge the event, even if they attempt to block
out what happened. But it's important to note here that acknowledgment
doesn't mean acceptance. Acknowledgment on this level refers to the
taking in of information. A crude comparison would be the
acknowledgment of seeing an email in your in-box. You know it's there,
even if you haven't accepted its delivery.
Denial / Acceptance
Not wanting to accept that the loss has
occurred is very common and
follows quickly on the heels of shock. Denial can be a powerful
response when dealing with grief and loss. "I don't believe it" or "No,
this can't be happening" are very common thoughts during this phase.
I have yet to counsel a client that is
dealing with a loss that hasn't
had feelings of guilt on some level. It's common for people to start
blaming themselves for what has occurred. "If only I had done this",
"If only I had not done that" are questions an individual may begin to
ask of themselves. Especially if the loss is something you think you
could have controlled, such as being laid off from a job, a
relationship or a suicide of someone close.
Depression often comes and goes through out
all stages of grief. But it
maybe exceptionally difficult in the early stages when an individual is
begging the Divine for help and their prayers seem to go unanswered.
Everyone needs time to cry, feel sad or lonely and feel the loss
they've experienced. Without an individual giving time to the self to
be sad, they are not able to release and heal the emotions that have
But there are varying levels of depression
that should be monitored. Severe and deep depression can cause new
issues and sometimes can create new dangers. Clinical depression can be
triggered by a variety of stresses in an individual's life. The losses
of a loved one, a relationship or some type of violent situation are
certainly big triggers for kicking off a serious condition of
At some point everyone gets angry after a
loss. Blaming the person who
left, the people or organization involved, or the situation that caused
the loss takes some of the burden off the guilt the individual may feel
toward them self.
The first step to healing in grief is
Forgiveness. Absolving the self,
the situation or others involved who have shared in some way with this
loss. Forgiveness comes in many forms and for many reasons. Each
situation is going to be different. And each person is going to have
specific details from their own perspectives about what has occurred,
what needs to be addressed and what needs to be forgiven. It's not
about what others think an individual should do or address, because
those outside influences may or may not have any affect on the inner
sub-consciousness of the individual. This is about the individual self
and how they look at the grieving situation through their eyes and
Hope / Action and Letting Go
The forgiveness, action and letting go are
the hard parts to dealing
with any loss. But through inner reflection, counseling and meditation,
an individual can learn to forgive and let go. Sometimes forgiving and
letting go on a spiritual level can help release the pain and emotional
hurt felt on a physical level as well. Through all this a person can
There's no way to pinpoint which of these phases is the most difficult
to move through, as each individual is different along with their
situation. Putting thoughts into action is one way of moving through
grief and discovering the steps of healing. One way this can be done is
through a "Letting Go" meditation. The method I use for clients is
provided in Appendix A and lays out a step by step process for putting
thoughts to paper and releasing the anxiety, pain and anger associated
with mourning and loss.
Dealing With Grief
Sometimes sitting down and trying to
meditate is the last thing an individual wants to do. But this type of
inner reflection can provide insight into what an individual faces on a
subconscious and super-conscious level. Even if an individual feels to
distraught to relax for meditation, a Spiritual Therapist has the
ability to help guide an individual through the process. The most
successful therapies adapt to the strengths of the individual, but also
to the potential of the Therapist as well. The healing process is a
joint effort. Even though the primary burden is on the client to allow
healing to take place, the Therapist has the ability to guide or direct
the client toward a path of understanding and healing.
From a metaphysical perspective, an
individual can find comfort in understanding the lesson behind the
situation or what karmic issues were involved. In 1967, Noel Langley
reported the approach taken by Edgar Cayce on the concepts of
reincarnation, the soul's ability to choose lessons, to understand
those choices and take accountability for the events in our lives. This
can be done through Meditation to connect the areas of
the conscious, subconscious and super conscious minds to gain
understanding and "see" situations from a Divine perspective.
The general process for this type of
Meditation is by practicing at least once a week for 1 month. You can
certainly meditate more often, but in either case, stick to the one
month practice before moving to the next step. Next find your sanctuary
and visit it for at least one month. By this time you should feel
comfortable enough in your own space to meet your guides. Talk with
them, learn from them and share with them what your goals and desire
are. After one month of communing with them, ask for their help to gain
understanding and healing with the situation at hand.
This approach along with therapy can help
an individual discover the underlying causes and the more important why
and how come behind events that bring sorrow and grief.
Dealing With Trials and Traumas
In order to resolve issues or problems in
your life, you must go through the process of Acknowledgment,
Acceptance, Forgiveness, Action and Letting Go. If you feel
as though you're carrying baggage around on your shoulders, your on
your way to healing.
Acknowledging and acceptance is often the
easy steps to getting rid of unwanted emotional baggage. The
forgiveness, action and letting go are the hard parts. But through
inner reflection, counseling and meditation, you can learn to forgive
and let go. Sometimes forgiving and letting go on a spiritual level can
help you release the pain and emotional hurt you feel on a physical
level as well.
Whither you're letting go of past bad
habits, an old hurt, a bad relationship or something more serious,
meditation is a good way to start. Meditation designed to raise your
consciousness and connect with the inner cause or the person you feel
hurt by on a spiritual level.
Dealing With Death
The physical loss of someone or something
doesn't mean we can't communicate on a spiritual level. Whither that
communication occurs through dream, meditation or a consultation
through psychic talents. Individuals sometimes only need an opportunity
to say goodbye, apologize for a perceived injustice or inquire as to
why a situation occurred and what they could have done differently. We
may not communicate in the same way as when they were alive, but in
some cases we might be able to communicate more often or even on a more
compassionate and loving level. A Spiritual Therapist has in their
armory of tools, access to psychic mediums (if they are not one
themselves) that can assist a client in connecting to and interacting
with spiritual communications.
The easiest method in communicating with
the deceased is to ask them to come to you in dream. Your mind is at
rest, but your subconscious mind is open and able to communicate on a
spiritual level in this state of altered awareness. The problem with
dream contact is that you can't always control what happens on your
end. Some people can remember bits and pieces, but not a whole
conversation. And others become frustrated because they can see their
relative, they know they talked to them, but their conscious mind won't
let them get to the point of believing they actually had a conversation
vs. it was just their desire and imagination in dream.
If you don't care much about listening to a
response, you can simply light a white candle sit down and talk to him.
Say all you have to say and then let it go and move on. That is helpful
to a lot of people and for some it gives them a sense of closure.
There is a third alternative that takes a
little effort and learning first. As long as you're willing to put in
the effort to listen, you can still talk with them as well as you did
when you picked up the phone. The best way to talk to your relatives is
By using meditation to seek answers within
the Divine Self, an individual gains a powerful tool that can guide
their physical actions through out the immediate situation and through
out the grieving process. This helps each person walk the path of their
soul, making choices that lead them closer to fulfilling the purpose of
their soul and the intent of their life in this incarnation. While at
the same time, helping them to see through Divine eyes the issues and
circumstances, or the meaning behind why situations have occurred as
they have. From working on karma, spiritual lessons and working through
grief the view of spirit can bring about comfort and peace within the
person in mourning.
You might also like to try these other
special meditations guides. They've worked very well for many people in
my classes. I hope you find them enjoyable too.