Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

Cheryl Eckl

Overcoming Blocks to Healing Grief

Finding power and peace in the midst of deep loss

woman at beach

We must relinquish our "trying"

One of the biggest blocks to healing grief from profound loss is the subconscious belief that we cannot be healed—that we are not worthy of more happiness than we are currently feeling and that we do not contain the elements of healing that will move us forward.

The grief process is like nature's secret weapon because, in our helplessness, we become malleable. It's the "giving up" part that is most important. Just as a dying person gives up the body, we who survive must relinquish our "trying" and the struggle to find meaning in what may be utterly senseless at the time it occurs.

If we allow it, the grief process takes us deep into soul territory—truly the Great Unknown for most of us. In addition to its eruptive and emotionally primal nature, I think this is what makes grief so frightening. It can force us to face those elements of self that are most troubling because they involve the existential questions of identity, purpose, and the very meaning of life.

We do not see the ways of the soul and her intricate relationship with the Divine Presence whose lover she is. These two are uniquely joined in an agreement of undying fealty that supersedes all other motivations and that eventually subsumes even the brightest human intellect into a glorious drama whose purpose is Love—and only Love.

For at the very heart of each of us is Love. And when we suffer great loss, it is into that heart of Love that nature directs us. The vehicle is grief and the landscape is our human sense of separation and loneliness.

As I have come to understand it, the point of the grief journey is to discover that at the heart of all loss is a unity more powerful than any separation we may have suffered from the absence of beloved person, place, or thing. Yes, this connection is different because it happens at the soul level, not the physical. But the unity experience is one that transcends time and space. It is limitless and eternal.

The challenge, of course, is to maintain that sense of oneness while living in a physical body. Spiritual awareness is easily driven away by the exigencies of daily life. It must be renewed each morning, lest we charge into our day naked before what Shakespeare aptly termed "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune."

woman contemplating

Renewal can become habitual

But this renewal can become habitual. That is another of grief's fine lessons. Once touched, the spirit of joy and comfort abiding within each heart creates a hunger for more of the same.

We begin to see grief as our great teacher that reminds us to ask, "Why do I grieve? What do I believe I have lost? Why was it important to me? How do I reconnect with its essence?"

By allowing our sorrow to follow these threads of inquiry, we find them connecting to a deep well of spiritual Presence. In the journeying, meaning is revealed. The soul shows more of herself. And we gain a sense of personal power and peace because we notice that we have actually internalized and become a new manifest expression of the very thing we thought we had lost.


About the Author

Cheryl Eckl is the author of The LIGHT Process: Living on the Razor's Edge of Change.