A Coaching Model Created by Donna Barnes
(Loss and Healing Coaching, UNITED STATES)
A healing tree often represents hope, confidence, beauty and tranquility. If you have a tree in your backyard or in a nearby park – embrace it, lie under it and let it speak to you. It can also ease anxiety and help with the tolerance of others and the self.
Healing is needed when we encounter the loss of a loved one, a career, good health, or a relationship. There are many things we lose in life that meant the world to us and is suddenly taken away, leaving us sometimes in shock only to wrestle with trying to adjust. There are a few things to remember in the healing process that has been put in an acronym:
H – Honor yourself at all times
E – Experience the pain
A –Allow yourself to smile, laugh and enjoy life again
L – Learn to accept that your loss is real
I – Identify what works for you in the healing process
N – Notify someone when you are feeling alone
G –Give to others who are suffering from a loss what you have learned
Honor yourself at all times
Once we have suffered a loss of some kind, we can lose our self-esteem, self- worth, integrity, and begin having self-doubts – depending on the type of lost. For example if you lose your job, unemployment means so much more than not having a job. There is no more structured time, your self-esteem decreases and self-doubt sets in. If we can remember that much of what happens to us, is not about us and about the environment, the economy, things that are out of our control. Just remember the great things in life that you have accomplished – those peak experiences that made you feel 10 feet tall. Remember and hold on to those moments and realize that you are experiencing a momentarily downfall – no matter what the loss is.
In order to do this, you need to be willing to BE with yourself, to turn your attention inward. This is about being with yourself and loving and accepting yourself, AS YOU ARE.
What are you passionate about and what gives you joy?
Experience the pain
As you begin to experience your emotional pain, remind yourself that there is nothing wrong with you for having this wound. Therefore, it is normal, natural and HEALTHY for you to feel whatever it is that you feel.
Acknowledge that you are hurting without masking it. Cry when you need to and reframe from internalizing the pain so that it doesn’t manifest in other ways. There are things you can do while experiencing the pain such as go for a long walk, workout at the gym, go for a swim, …something physical where you do not have to concentrate. This allows you to be with the pain for a moment while allowing blood to circulate in your body. You do not want the pain to get you sick or keep you from getting your rest.
What have you learned about yourself as you are going through this pain?
Allow yourself to smile, laugh and enjoy life again
When someone you loved dies or we are robbed of something that is meaningful to us – we sometimes find it hard to smile, to laugh, to go out and enjoy ourselves. While you may think it is the end of the world…there is hope. Many times, if a loved one has died unexpectedly, we feel guilty if we smile or laugh at a joke.
When you are at your best, what are you doing?
Learn to accept that your loss is real
It may take time to accept things the way they are and you may want to pretend that everything is okay; often it is easier to do that then to own your circumstances. Sometimes we just want to fade into oblivion and hope that no one will bother us. This is when you ask yourself, …..
What is it about the future that scares you?
Identify what works for you in the healing process
It is important for us to recognize our support team. Who out there cares about you and wants to help you maintain a healthy spirit and good mental hygiene. If they are calling you or stopping by – understand that it is not to annoy you but to give you a sense of presence. Knowing that there is someone else in the house and you are not alone can feel very comforting.
Is there anything that you want more of in terms of support?
Notify someone when you are feeling alone and need someone around you
It’s okay to saddle someone with your thoughts and feelings. While you may think you are a burden to others, it is not always true. And if you feel that way simply ask those you feel you want to count on but not sure –
Would you mind if I call on you from time to time?
Friends and family want to help, if you let them. This is not the time to try and be a super person who can handle it. Lean on someone as much as you can.
What part of me most needs compassion, love and attention, right now?
Give to others who are suffering from a loss what you have learned
One of the things that help some individuals in grief is to attend support groups and share the pain. When you know of someone who is going through what you have just gone through – reach out to them and offer any assistance. It helps you continue to get through the healing process when you help others.
What have you learned from this experience that will help others?