Good Grief

Sometimes I feel like exclaiming, Good grief!, When will this pandemic end?

What I have noticed in my clients, though, is that the pandemic has afforded them the time to be on their own, reflect and grieve.

Good grieving is something that we have time to do during the pandemic. It’s one of the pluses of being at home.

Memories from the past resurge and we have the time to process them, something that was less likely before.

We may feel a tinge in our heart, followed by sadness, followed by letting go.

It’s important to let these memories surface and then leave our system energetically as well as verbally when we tell someone.

In his book, Modern Man in Search of a Soul, the renown psychiatrist Carl G. Jung discusses the concept of confession as being the first step in a psychic process that, ultimately, leads to transformation.

When we, for example, reveal our secrets to our analyst, we are confessing (expressing verbally) that which was previously concealed.

According to Jung, that which remains concealed—remains secret—leads to illness. In his own words, ‘To cherish secrets and to restrain emotions are psychic misdemeanours for which nature finally visits us with sickness ….’[1]

As a chaplain, I see physical illnesses that are manifestations of unresolved spiritual issues. I find that when the person shares their story with me (a kind of confession) and we pray together, they feel better and are able to release anger or sadness or perplexity.

It starts with ‘confession’ and all comes out.

To tell your truth to another human being is not easy and involves trust.

Tears may flow after which comes a release like no other.

We cannot move from one level to the next without having fully worked through our issues at the level we presently find ourselves.

We must confess before moving to Jung’s next steps of explanation, education, and transformation.

The model that I use in Take it to the Next Level, ‘Listen Recognize and Create’ (or Co-create) is similar to, but different from, the psychic process defined above.

Take it to the Next Level is all about you finding the knowledgeable, qualified person (mentor or spiritual coach) you’ve always been looking for to really listen to you, recognize the issue that is blocking you from advancing, and (together) create a plan to move forward.

In order to move up a level, we need to let go of our past. When we let go, we can ‘climb out and climb up’ a level.

The pandemic has forced us to let go of many things: we can’t go places we used to go; meet people we used to see; or engage in the distractions we used to engage in.

The pandemic has forced us to stay home and spend time with ourselves. This is a plus because it is only when we look at ourselves that we realize that we are no longer satisfied with the status quo. We realize that we want to change, want to move up a level.

We may have all the material things we could ever want, but our soul is crying out, telling us something is missing.

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[1] C.G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul (New York: Harcourt, 1933), 34.