7 Steps to uncrush your soul: Grief and Sadness

Imagine a gruesome physical injury. Dripping blood, internal organs exposed on a human body. Now imagine that it is your body.

There is a strong natural reluctance to looking at it – you might grimace and look away. Even if you have a strange fascination with it, you still don’t want to get close.

There is a similar mess inside your heart. We don’t want to look at it, or get close. We fear reopening old wounds. But unless we reach in and untangle that mess, it will always be there, rotting away inside you, until you spiral down into depression and a ruined life!

You have to deal with lingering sadness. Otherwise, any happiness you achieve will not be true or lasting.

Almost everyone has sadness inside them that they don’t show. They don’t know how to deal with it. Sometimes they don’t even know it – the hurt is often repressed.

Pluck up some courage and some honesty. Join me and we’ll look deep inside to find and fix that pain.

How to untangle your heart

1. Find somewhere you can be alone. Sit quietly and think for a moment: Is there anything you cannot let go of? Is there anything that keeps coming into your mind that – even for a second – drops you into gloom? Such thoughts might seem like minor or ordinary. Don’t discount them though, for they are symptoms of repressed sadness.

2. Close your eyes and be still. Breathe deep. Try to give the sadness a voice. Why are you sad? If you are the sadness, what would you say?

3. Let yourself feel the sadness. Don’t repress it. Face everything you compulsively think about but try to ignore or forget. How does it feel? How does it make your body want to react?

4. Really get into it. What happened to you? In what way does it hurt you? Do you feel trivialised, insulted, abused, abandoned, or betrayed? Let your body react the way it wants to – if you want to curl up and cry, then do so. It’s normal to feel weird or self-conscious, just keep going!

5. Are there any internal blocks? Is there a little voice that says “Men don’t cry”? Is there a voice telling you that you’ve already dealt with it? Or it’s nothing serious? That is denial. Keep going!

6. Cry! Have you forgotten how to cry? What you want to achieve is deep crying, the kind that is physically takes over your chest or more. If all you can get are a few tears that is fine too. In fact if you haven’t cried for a long time, it might be all you get the first time.

7. Personally I find it helps to sit in a corner somewhere on the floor and cry. Maybe it echoes with childhood pain. Get a motel if you have to, so no-one can see you (if you live with someone). Cry, and cry, and cry. It’s releasing. Say everything you’ve always wanted to say. Don’t censor yourself. Tell the person who hurt you what they did to you, how deeply they have cut you.

Final tips

You might need several tries. Pain comes in waves, and often times one attempt won’t be enough to release all that pent-up energy.

Why did the last few steps seem repetitive? There are often so many internal blocks that you have to overcome, and we have to deal with each individually. When I did this I had major blocks stopping me. I couldn’t cry. I haven’t cried in years – I was drilled since childhood not to cry. What a bad mistake, but one that many parents make with boys.

It is acceptable to wait for a fitting time (being alone for example) to show it, but do not hold it in or pretend it doesn’t exist. If you feel it then it is there. No need to rationalise it or intellectualise it. Accept and honour your feelings. Find a time and place to deal with it.

Note: while women can cry in front of their friends, do it alone if you are male – even if your wife or girlfriend wants to support you, don’t let her! The damage to your image and her respect for you will be irreparable. Trust me on this one.