What are you telling yourself? The power behind your words.

Mantras and affirmations can change our lives. Or, at the very least, change the way we think about something.  

If you've done self-help work, personal development or spiritual work, you know what I’m talking about.

Phrases and affirmations like, “I’m a strong and vibrant person” or “I am peaceful and calm” help us take root in a new way of thinking.

But could repeating affirmations over and over again actually hinder us?

Here’s the thing, when a mantra is grounded in positivity, yes, it can be powerful and helpful. But what happens when our affirmations are rooted in a belief that may not necessary serve us? And those affirmations are repeated again and again?

For example, what if you have a belief that you will never get over a death that has occurred.

You tell yourself “I will never get over this,” and then well-intended friends and family say to you “I don’t know how you’ll get over this.”

What do you think will happen?

Chances are you will never get over it. Now, I am not saying we ever truly “get over” a death, but we can learn to integrate it in our lives. The way I see it is, the day we learned of a death or the devastating news that changed our lives forever, is the day that a humongous heavy rock was placed on our backs. And although we can never get it off our backs, we can get stronger to carry it.

Let’s the change the mantra to, “I am getting stronger everyday” or “I am healing” or “I will heal completely” and have that repeated back to us.

“You are healing and every day and you are closer than you were before.”  

Our most powerful words, over any, are the words we tell ourselves. What we say does make a big difference.  

If you want to heal, start by becoming more aware of what you tell yourself and by being conscious of what you believe your truth to be.

Grief Trophy

Is there a hierarchy to grief?

I’ve asked myself this question on more than one occasion.

I’ve been told many times that a death by suicide is different, that it’s somehow worse. I never really understood why.

Is my experience any worse or better than someone that has lost a loved one to a horrific accident?

Why are some deaths considered “the worst,” and some deaths seemingly don’t carry the same weight when compared to another. Why is it that a death of a child seemingly trumps the death of an elderly parent? Or when a devastating loss to a natural disaster is worse than losing everything to a broken relationship?

Who is to judge? And is it really a competition anyone wants to win?

There is no hierarchy and there is no “worst” pain. Every one of us has our own experience that is uniquely ours. Yours is yours and mine is mine.

We would not compare happiness to one another, so why do we feel entitled to hurt more because of our circumstances?

Let’s take off the judgemental grieving goggles and start looking at the healing process.

When we carry around the notion that we cannot feel better because no one will ever understand the pain that we are going through, it can be very isolating. Just as no one understand your pain, no one exactly understands your joy.

Why? It simple. It is not their experience, it is yours.

Grief that goes unhealed is raw and unrelenting.

The burden of carrying grief around with you because you believe you cannot heal it, you shouldn’t heal it or it’s all you have left...this is the worst grief.

There are no winners. You can heal from your pain and maybe even help others in the process.

And the first step is to put down the grief trophy.