Transformational tools for body, mind and spirit

Three Articles by Dr. Robert Dee McDonald

GRIEF AND YOUR HEALTH

 

Dr. Robert Dee McDonald

 

Grief:

 Grief is a deep sadness, a painful emotional response to a perceived loss, which is called bereavement.  The sensations of grief are felt in the chest as an emptiness or concavity. A grieving individual, someone in mourning, may report feeling sad or that they are pining or longing for something or someone who is missing, lost or gone, and is now thought of as existing only in the past.

 

Specifically, you are in a state of grief when you feel a painful longing for something or someone who is no longer in your life, whether your loved one died or simply moved away.

 

Very broadly speaking, grief is the result of mentally representing a valued person, animal, place, thing, activity or dream as absent from your life, no longer present and available. 

 

The Good News:

The way you think of your loved one, what you mentally see and hear in your mind's eye and ear, determines your emotional state.  And since you can change your mind, you can change your emotional reaction.  You can transform your experience from grief to gratitude.

 

What Grief is Not:

Grief is not anger, shock or trauma. These painful emotions commonly accompany grief, so I use different tools to help resolve them.  Grief is also not a way to honor the one who has passed away, but thinking of the loved one with joy in your heart is.  And grief is not a way to honor family and friends who have experienced the same loss, but sharing the genuine happiness that comes from resolving your own grief is.

 

Grief Offers a Gift:

Your ability to feel grief is evidence of your humanity and your capacity to love.  That's because we only grieve the loss of those people, animals and things that we truly value.  All suffering offers us a gift. That gift is compassion. The pain you experience as you grieve the loss of a loved one is the basis of your ability to appreciate the pain others feel, which deepens your humanity. There is an emotional law: No suffering, no compassion. Compassion comes from the Latin "com", which means "with" or "together", and "passion", which means to suffer. So if you have suffered from the loss of a loved one or for any other reason, you are given the opportunity to more deeply connect and emotionally commune with others.  But, because compassion can only come to you through the pain of your broken heart, you may be reluctant to accept the gift. Nonetheless, the offer is made to everyone who grieves.

 

Objections to Ending Grief:

Objections to resolving grief are not uncommon.  Even though grief can now be healthily resolved, not everyone wants to stop grieving.  Many people believe that grief cannot be resolved at all. Others regard the end of grief as a kind of betrayal of the loved one, thinking something like, "If I feel good when I think of (him or her), doesn't that mean that I didn't really love (him or her)?" Some want to preserve their grief as a way of demonstrating family loyalty.  But most people continue to grieve for two reasons:  They have not received the gift of suffering, which is universally known to be compassion.  And, not having access to anyone who knows how to help them, they simply don't have the means to resolve their grief.

 

Grief and Chronic Stress:

Painful emotions suffered for a prolonged period of time eventuate as chronic stress. Chronic stress releases adrenaline and cortisol, called corticosteroids, into your body. These stress hormones can be beneficial in the short-term, but if you are exposed to them for too long, you may experience high blood pressure, heart disease, muscle tissue damage, anxiety, depression, sleep problems, weight gain or loss, memory and concentration impairment, and much more.

 

Although studies have not shown a direct link between chronic stress and cancer, the medical community agrees that chronic stress compromises the immune system and therefore decreases the body's ability to fight disease and kill cancer cells.

 

Grief is a very stressful and universally felt emotion.  Everyone who is able to love, and lives long enough, will feel grief at some time in their lives. It is a normal reaction to the loss of a loved person, pet, place, thing, activity or dream.  But when grief is unresolved, it can be a source of chronic stress and a damaged immune system. In fact, researchers at Yale University have found that prolonged grief had a greater negative impact on people's lives than major depression or post-traumatic stress disorder. It therefore opens the door to a variety of unnecessary diseases, including cancer.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tells us that up to 90% of the doctor visits in the USA may be triggered by a stress-related illness.

 

The methods I use to resolve grief positively impact chronic stress and thereby strengthen your immune system. This extraordinarily powerful work gently guides you in a step-by-step fashion to mentally represent the lost loved one as present, here and now. It includes a profound process of integration that lifts you to the next level of conscious evolution.

 

The Results of Resolving Grief:

The goal of healing your wounded heart is to happily re-engage in the flow and joyous mystery of life.  Your grief has ended when you are able to happily think of your loved one, and, at the same time, breathe freely, enjoy life, and love again.

 

How To Resolve Grief:

More than 30 years ago, I wrote my Master's Thesis on unresolved grief reactions in survivors of suicide. At that time, no one in the professional psychotherapeutic community imagined that grief over the loss of a loved one could be resolved at all, certainly not in one to three sessions.  But since I was feeling grief over my father's suicide, I was deeply motivated to find effective and healthy ways to end my grief and then assist others in resolving theirs. After years of research and study, I finally learned the nature of the human mind. I learned how the mind creates, and resolves, every emotion, including grief. I learned how to help resolve grief, shock and trauma in virtually anyone seeking assistance. Today, I am happy to report that, by working with clients in 18 countries around the world, I have helped literally thousands of people end their grief.

 

My personal experience of grief includes the suffering I felt over the loss of my father, nephew and two cousins by suicide, two sisters and a brother, when I was a child and they were babies, my mother, at 85, my grandmothers, aunts, uncles, dear friends and colleagues. Naturally, I missed them and felt grief over their absence. 

 

Then I resolved my grief by the renewing of my mind.

 

Now, when I think of the loved ones who have passed away, I feel happy, connected, peaceful and loving. I do not miss them because I experience them as with me.  To me, they are not lost, gone and in the past.  Each one, as I think of him or her, is with me here and now.  They are as present in my life as a loved one who has just stepped into the next room.

 

Unfortunately, the vast majority of people cannot imagine that such a powerful emotion can be effectively and healthily resolved in such a short time. And because so many people simply don't believe relief is possible, they don't seek it.

 

Please keep this fact in mind:  Recent research has found that 90,000 parents a year, in the U.S. alone, experience the profound suffering that follows the death of a child or adolescent. Of course their suffering is natural, normal and to be expected. But, to show that prolonged grief is unnecessary, I offer the following report from a co-founder of the Cure to Cancer Conference and Editor and Chief of Integrated Health International Magazine, Jean Swann:

 

 "Dr. Robert Dee McDonald helped me, in one session, to completely heal the profound shock, trauma and grief I felt over the death of my 23 year old son. All I can tell you is I experienced a life changing miracle, only a few months after he died. Now when I think of my son, I do not cry tears of sadness and loss, I cry tears of joy. It is absolutely so incredible! I didn't know I could feel this way again. I have studied healing modalities and spirituality for more than 12 years, and I have never experienced anything as miraculous as this!  I want everyone suffering over the loss of a loved one, the way I did, to know that rapid and compassionate healing is now possible.   I am spreading the good news!"

 

My Method:

My most powerful method for resolving grief is called The Grief Resolution Ceremony. This extraordinarily powerful tool gently guides you to compare two different emotional experiences:  1) The pain you feel when you think of someone you are currently grieving, and 2) the happiness you feel when you think of a loved one you used to grieve, but now you feel fine when you think of him or her, almost as though he or she is in another room or at work or school at the moment.

 

It is important to realize that neither of the two loved ones is literally with you. The one you are grieving is not with you. The one you used to grieve is also not with you. Yet, you grieve the one and you feel fine about the other.  The difference that makes the difference is the way you see them in your mind's eye and hear them in your mind's ear.  Because these differences are universally reported, irrespective of country, language or culture, it is now possible to resolve grief by learning how to change your thoughts and beliefs, that is, the mental representations that cause grief and disturb your peace of mind.  In this way, your grief can be healthily, honorably and quickly resolved.

 

My work with grief, shock, trauma and unconscious conflict is designed to resolve chronic stress.  It thereby strengthens your immune system, and supports you as you walk the Path of the Seven Virtues, which includes authenticity, humility, mercy, forgiveness, grace, wisdom and ultimately love.

© 2014 Copyright by Dr. Robert Dee McDonald.  All Right Reserved.

                                                                     The Telos Healing Center • 714-577-5717 • www.TelosCenter.com

 

FORGIVENESS & YOUR HEALTH

 

Dr. Robert Dee McDonald

Published in Integrated Health International Magazine, Fall Edition 2014

http://thecuretocancersummit.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/fall-magazine_email1.pdf

 

What Forgiveness is Not:

Forgiveness is not forgetting, which would make the victim unconscious of the offense. Forgiveness is not an excuse, which would fail to hold the offender responsible for his or her behavior. Forgiveness does not condone the offender's behavior, which would fail to regard the hurtful behavior as something to forgive. And forgiveness is not reconciliation, which would regard the relationship as restored.

 

Forgiveness Defined:

 Forgiveness is a process by which an injured person lets go of negative emotions, and has an increased ability to wish the offender well. Specifically, when you no longer demand any change in the being of the person who hurt you, you have forgiven that person.  Very broadly, to forgive is to let go of the demand that the past be any different than it was.

 

The Benefits of Forgiveness:

If you decide to wait until those who have wronged you become worthy of your forgiveness, you will wait forever for inner peace, in the midst of your suffering.  If you believe, "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth and a limb for a limb," then your entire world will be blind, toothless and lame.  The truth is you cannot find inner peace without forgiveness.

 

The emotional reason to forgive is to obtain the universally valued benefits of forgiveness.  The most common benefit of forgiveness is inner peace. In fact, the only way to achieve peace of mind is to alter the painful thoughts you have been harboring within yourself. You cannot have inner peace by holding on to the same thoughts that cause you to feel hurt, angry, depressed, or miserable. The path of un-forgiveness, of holding a grudge, simply adds suffering to the pain of the original offense. 

On another level, the physical reason to forgive is revealed in research that shows people who forgive are happier and healthier than those who hold resentments. Forgiveness has specific bodily benefits, such as improved functioning of the cardiovascular and nervous systems. These physical benefits are known to occur when people simply think about forgiving an offender. A study at the University of Wisconsin found the more forgiving people were, the less they suffered from a range of illnesses. The people who forgave less reported a greater number of health problems.

 

And finally, the Spiritual benefit of forgiveness occurs the moment you forgive everyone and everything in your life.  When you forgive in this broad way, you awaken in the present, to the here and now, because you are freed from all bondage to your past.  The prison doors are flung open.  Then you can literally see, sing and dance the praises of everything that has ever happened to you. This is a profoundly blissful state.

 

Separate Being From Behavior:

But remember this, there is value in keeping an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out.  In order to forgive you must separate being from behavior, that is, what someone is, is not the same as what someone does.  The person who harmed you is a human being, not a human doing.  A person's being, when deeply contemplated, is absolutely good and cannot be otherwise.  A person's behavior, however, may be wrong, bad and even evil.  So, your work is to forgive and remember.  You let go of the demand that the past be different than it was, remember that the other person is capable of such behavior, and act accordingly.  In this way, you remain fully awake and your actions come from inner peace.

 

Barriers to Forgiveness:

If you think about it, you'll find that you hold a certain amount of hope in the middle of your unresolved hurt and anger. Your hope is usually this: "If I am hurt and angry long enough and obviously enough, surely the one who wounded me will wakeup, change in some way, and I will feel better." Forgiveness occurs when you let go of all hope for change that has become the basis of the pain it intends to heal.

 

Ultimately, you want to give and receive love. Most people spend a good deal of time demanding that other people, particularly those who have hurt us, manifest the virtue of love before we do, or as we do, or in equal amounts. However, the deep peace of mind that you seek emerges only when you forgive everything and everyone, which is a personal decision to fully let go.

 

Letting Go:

The goal of forgiving is inner peace. Nothing more and nothing less. If your inner peace is attached to a change in your past or in another person, powerlessness and unnecessary suffering will inevitably emerge. On the other hand, if you let go of the demand that your past be different than it was, if you let go of the demand that the other be different than he/she was and is, then there will be a kind of a death. The death of a futile hope.

 

When we face this kind of death with an open heart, putting our faith in love, we find peace in realizing that death is simply letting go of that which has become unnecessary. We realize that we truly belong here, within love's embrace. With this understanding, we can authentically bless and praise all that has been, all that is and all that will be. In this way, we become grateful and experience joy, the bliss of heaven.  And our hearts can rest in the peace that passes all understanding.

 

A Method to Forgive:

My most powerful method for creating profound inner peace is what I call the Forgiving the Un-Forgivable Process. This extraordinarily powerful tool gently guides you to accept the positive function of your suffering.  Then it leads you in a profound process of integration that lifts you to the next level of conscious evolution. All of my work is designed to resolve chronic stress, strengthen your immune system, and support you on what I call the Path of the Seven Virtues, which includes authenticity, humility, mercy, forgiveness, grace, wisdom and ultimately love.

                                                © 2014 Copyright by Dr. Robert Dee McDonald.  All Right Reserved.

The Telos Healing Center • 714-577-5717 • www.TelosCenter.com

 

To a Hammer, the Whole World is a Nail

 

Dr. Robert Dee McDonald

 

Neuro-Linguistic Programming is a cognitive science used by practitioners to examine subjective experiences, copy them, and create goal-oriented procedures, designed to help people achieve measurable results.

 

From perhaps the largest perspective, the Perennial Philosophy, NLP fits snugly within the Great Chain of Being, which consists of five levels of reality: matter, life, mind, soul and divine.  NLP clearly belongs to the psychological domain and relates effectively to the first three levels. The relationship of NLP to the two Spiritual levels, however, reveals a limitation inherent in NLP:  Like a hammer to which the whole world is a nail, NLP reduces Spirituality to mental representations, ultimately based on the body's sensory systems.

 

This unavoidable reduction is the glory and the gloom of NLP. 

 

Glory because, being single-mindedly utilitarian and not encumbered by questions of the Good, the True and the Beautiful, this reduction has made possible the creation of tools that rapidly resolve many forms of human suffering, all the while improving self-confidence and astounding professionals and the lay public alike. That is, by reducing nominalizations to sensory-based representations, NLP transforms ideas, opinions and conclusions into useful observations and step-by-step procedures, the foundation of measurable achievement.

 

Gloom because this same reduction either ignores or leads people away from the Divine, the numinous, the ultimate Good, "the many-splendored thing." By explaining all human experiences, including the Spiritual -- infinite existence, infinite consciousness, infinite bliss -- in terms of modalities, submodalities, perceptual positions, and physiology, NLP reveals its fundamental limitation: Being a cognitive science, the highest level of reality it can acknowledge is its own.

 

One remedy is The Destination® Method, which uses the extraordinary power of NLP but continually opens to heart-felt compassion, based on a practical Spiritual model that includes and fosters the Path of the Seven Virtues: authenticity, humility, mercy, forgiveness, grace, wisdom and love.

                        © 2014 Copyright by Dr. Robert Dee McDonald.  All Right Reserved.

Dr. Robert Dee McDonald:  Founder of The Destination® Method • Founder of The Telos Healing Center • Executive Director of The Mental & Spiritual Wellness Program at The Center for New Medicine • Co-Founder of MyTherapistMatch.com and MyCoachMatch.com • Board Member of The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology • 

Co-Author of Tools of the Spirit and NLP: The New Technology of Achievement

www.TelosCenter.com • Robert@TelosCenter.com • 714-577-5717