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Excerpt from "You Can Heal Your Heart"

by Louise L. Hay and David Kessler

This is an excerpt from You Can Heal Your Heart by Louise L. Hay and David Kessler (Hay House, Feb 2013)

A broken heart is also an open heart. Whatever the circumstances, when you love someone and your time together ends, you will naturally feel pain. The pain of losing a person you love is part of life, part of this journey, but suffering doesn’t have to be. Although it’s natural to forget your power after you lose a loved one, the truth is that after a breakup, divorce, or death, there remains an ability within you to create a new reality.

Whatever kind of loss your grief stems from, it’s vital to hold the thought of wanting to find peace and to find a healing of the heart. It is comforting and powerful to know that fully grieving and finding peace is always an available option.

Just remember that healing your loss and your heart is possible. People do it successfully all the time, but you must always keep in mind that your grief is as unique as your fingerprint. You must recognize your loss and your grief in order to heal your heart fully.

Different Kinds of Loss

Most people are surprised to learn that there are many different types of loss. “Loss is loss,” and that is true on one level; however, since there are so many kinds of specific losses, it’s worth looking at the archetypes.

Complicated Loss

To put it simply, complicated loss is any loss that is complicated by other factors. Most of us know that we will experience loss when a relationship naturally ends. When two people mutually agree on separation and divorce, that is an uncomplicated loss. When the death of an elderly relative happens in an expected way after a good, long life, that is an uncomplicated loss. How many of these are there? How often does everyone agree, and how often do things end well?

Everyone’s lives are complicated, and so are their losses, of course. Losses become complicated when you don’t expect them to happen. In other words, this loss was a surprise. While you may name it, and it may well be a complicated loss, no matter how complex, the possibility for healing is always there. Let’s look at some examples of how we can change our thinking.

In a relationship, when one person wants a separation and the other one doesn’t, you may want to add this to your thinking:

While I don’t understand this separation now, I will accept it as reality so healing can begin.

This same thinking can be used with divorce:

I don’t believe we need to divorce, but my husband wants it [or, my wife has filed the papers]. While I don’t agree with it, I do believe that we choose our own destiny, and my partner has chosen theirs.

Everyone has a right to choose to be in a marriage or not.

When someone dies young, you might say to yourself:

I didn’t see this death coming. I believed this person had more to experience in life, but I remind myself that I do not see all or know all. While I may have feelings of anger and confusion, I don’t know what anyone’s journey is supposed to be.

Remember that while the loss may be complicated, the healing doesn’t have to be.

Loss in Limbo

Here are some examples of loss in limbo: after the third break in a relationship, a couple might say, “The separation is killing us. We wish we could make this work or finally end it for good.”

Some helpful affirmations may be:

This separation will reveal helpful information.

This relationship will grow or end in its own time.

Individuals dealing with serious, ongoing health-care issues might say, “The days spent waiting for test results are excruciating,” or “I either want to completely get better or die.”

A good affirmation to use may be:

My health is not solely defined by a test result.

Wondering if there is going to be a loss can feel as bad as the loss itself. Life sometimes forces you to live in limbo, not knowing if you will experience loss or not. You may have to wait several hours to hear if your loved one’s surgery went well, or days until a loved one is out of a coma. You may wait in limbo for hours, days, weeks, or longer when a child is missing. The families of soldiers who are missing in action are often wrenched by decades of living in limbo. And years later, those left behind still haven’t resolved their losses and may not be able to do so until they learn the truth. But that information may never come. Being in the limbo of loss is, in itself, a loss.

It doesn’t have to be that way, however. In the storm, you can find a port. During the limbo of loss, you’ll probably scare yourself with the worst possible outcomes. You don’t know how you’ll survive if this loss actually happens. In these situations, you can become paralyzed and are no help at all to others or yourself. A healing affirmation for this situation is:

Even though I do not know the whereabouts of my loved one, I trust that he or she is safely cared for in the loving hand of God.

In a breakup, for example, you might think, I must get him back; I’m not ready for this to end. Well, think again! What if instead you said to yourself:

I may not know the outcome, but life loves me, and I will be fine with him or without him.

If you’re having a hard time breaking up with someone, try saying this to yourself:

If I am not the one for her, someone else is! Let me get out of the way so that they can come together.

Disenfranchised Grief

Disenfranchised grief is the result of a loss for which people do not feel they have a socially recognized right to grieve. Disenfranchised grief is often not openly mourned or approved of. Some examples are:

The relationship is not socially approved of or publicly recognized, such as gay or lesbian relationship or marriage.

Try thinking:

Regardless of what others think about my love, I honor my love and my loss.

The relationship exists primarily in the past: for example, the deceased is an ex-wife or ex-husband.

Try thinking:

Even though my loved one is my ex, my feelings of love are not just in the past,
but also in the present. I will fully grieve my love for him or her.

The loss is hidden or not easy to see. Hidden losses include abortion or miscarriages.

Try thinking:

I see and honor the loss of my child.

There is a stigma connected to how the person died. This could be a death that appears to have an element of poor decision making or what some consider sin. Suicide, AIDS, alcoholism, or drug overdose are all examples.

Try thinking:

For suicide: My loved one was in pain and could not see a way out.
I now see him as whole and at peace.

For AIDS: My loved one is beautiful and worthy, regardless of her illness.

For alcoholism and/or drug addiction: My loved one did the best he could.
I remember him before he was addicted, and I see him now without his addiction.

The loss of a pet sometimes isn’t shared because of the fear of ridicule.

Try thinking:

The love I have for my pet is very real. I will only share my grief with those
who will understand my loss.

Remember, when it comes to disenfranchised grief, you can’t change other people’s thinking, but you can always change your own.

I honor my losses.


As you see, there are different names for different types of losses. While each one of us grieves in a unique way, the experience of loss is universal. It is important to note then, that if loss is universal, so is healing. While you often have no control over a breakup, divorce, or death occurring, you do have complete control over the thinking that follows. You can create an experience of fully feeling the grief and desiring the healing, or you can become a victim of the pain.

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Lynn Andrews
Sue Miller Art
Light Healing
Cie Simurro
Lou Valentino
Alternatives For Healing
Dancing Heart
Ellie Pechet
Denali Institute
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