How Grief Relates To The Work Of The Soul
Bob Olson's Interview With Psychic Medium Laura Scott
Bob Olson: I'm pleased to be interviewing Laura Scott today on the relationship between grief and soul work. Laura is a psychic, spiritual teacher and channel for healing, and she is going to teach us how grieving is a natural part of our growth process in this journey we call life.
Laura, I think it is safe to say that most adults will deal with grief in their lifetime. Do you believe that the grief process is part of most everyone's life purpose?
Laura Scott: Hi Bob, it's always a pleasure to connect with you! Yes, sooner or later we will all experience grief on one level or another. It is unavoidable. Grief transcends social classes, cultures, countries, education, backgrounds and more. It is a great equalizer. We grieve the physical loss of loved ones, beloved pets, family members, as well as less tangible things like losses of life roles, health, loss of status, phases of our lives, jobs, ideas, youth, freedom - you name it and someone has grieved for it intimately.
Scientists have recently discovered that no matter what the cause, all forms of grief create physical pain and chemical reactions in our body. In other words, grief in any form takes a measurable toll on us physically, one that can actually be quantified and seen in laboratories. The second interesting thing about these studies is that grief over the loss of loved one, whether human or animal, both measured the same identical effects in the body. So whether we are grieving a spouse, or a beloved animal companion the effects in our bodies are equal. That is an important finding because it offers us an opportunity to have more compassion for ALL those who grieve, not just those we can relate to, or those losses we deem 'worthy.' It's a huge opportunity for a lesson in compassion and expanding our inadequate models for understanding grief.
Those who have known and suffered through grief, in whatever form, know that in addition to grief being a gauntlet of emotional, physical and spiritual things, it also brings us up against societies shortcomings for dealing with it. As a global community full of world citizens, we need to do a better job of understanding and tolerating grief in all it's forms. Since grief is inescapable, non discriminating, all equalizing, and able to be measured quantitatively, clearly it is also an integral part of our soul work.
And while grief can be excruciatingly isolating, it doesn't have to be. The answer is simple: we need more compassion for ourselves and others. And we need a new model for understanding the importance of grief in terms of growth of the soul.
Bob: What benefits do we gain from grieving the loss of a loved one?
Laura: Ahhh, good question. Let me answer that from the position of someone who has experienced first hand grief and loss. When we are in the throws of it, grief is purely about survival. It is primal. There are days when you can't sleep enough, and others where you can't sleep at all. There are days when you can't eat, and other days where you just can't stop eating. Days where you are all cried out, and whole stretches of days where you cry all the time, even in your sleep. Days where you can't stop thinking, and days where you can't think at all.
Initially, grief must be experienced and respected as primal, where our very survival hinges on ebbing and flowing with this process far greater than ourselves. Eventually though, it's important to start seeing grief for what it is on a larger level...sacred work for the soul. By grieving the loss of a loved one we ultimately invite our own healing and soul progress...making room for new understanding, acceptance, clarity and compassion to come in. And with all this comes a better communication with The Other Side, not a weakened one.
I think it would help if in some way we can think of getting through grief as a required right of passage for the soul.
Bob: If grieving is part of our soul work, perhaps you can explain to us the meaning of "soul work" in this context.
Laura: Soul work is the task that each and every being has while they are down here on earth. We are all here to learn and to grow, and the non-discriminating nature of grief guarantees each of us a few passes at it during this earthly journey. Like it or not, it is part of this earthly package deal. By reframing grief into that context, it can help us all to remember that we are not alone. We are on a larger journey - and life is a continuum. We will all be connected with our loved ones again. The things in this earthly world are designed for impermanence. The soul, however, is perpetual.
Remember, we humans have to flow everything through our egos. The ego would have us think we are in control, we are the center of The Universe, we are different than others, better than others, not like others, exempt from suffering, above loss etc....and guess what? The ego is a big illusion artist, a great fibber! Ego is a human condition. It means we are focused or fixated on ourselves: I this, I that. But our soul doesn't work this way. The ego or id is part of the earthly package, not the eternal one. When we find ways to move through our grief and become even slightly aware of a bigger picture, there is comfort in knowing that despite appearances everything is always working for good - for our growth. Everything is leading us somewhere. Eventually, as spirits, we will all meet again. And in the scheme of The Universe, that's just a blink of the eye.
Bob: So, although we may have several things to learn in our lifetime, part of that soul work is to experience the physical loss of people we love?
Laura: Yes Bob. As painful as it is, we all age, we all get to trade in these bodies eventually. Our bodies are designed to expire; like cars. It is part of the deal here on earth. No one is exempt - although a few eccentric billionaires have had their brains and spinal columns frozen, but I think they missed the point of soul work and were operating from strictly an ego place!
As we age physically we will hopefully also become more aware of our selves: our physical capabilities and possibilities. Philosophies like 'seize the day', 'make hay while the sun shines', 'attitude is everything' and so on take on new meanings for us. These attitudes can help shape and mold our daily experiences. The changes that come with aging and the passage of time create a type of goal system that we measure life with. For instance: "when I get tall enough I will ride a big bike,' or 'as soon as I can drive...,' 'after I graduate college,' 'once the mortgage is paid off,' 'once I am in remission', 'when I get married,' 'after physical therapy is finished,' etc.
Statements, attitudes, and expressions like these are used to quantify time. They help us to both make and measure goals. They may sometimes reflect our inner progress and changes as well as outward ones. Notice I said sometimes. Because like it or not, whether you are maturing or not, aging and the passage of time WILL happen here on earth. For all of our marvels and advances to discover and quantify time, the one thing that seems to have alluded us is how to stop or reverse it. Ultimately, no matter how much we love our 'cars' - things are indeed designed to wear and change. No matter how much we love our pets, family members, partners, etc., eventually we all go "Home" to a wonderful place. Some of us just take an earlier train there than others.
How we deal with these concepts is a matter of choice and attitude. After all, life is always what we make it.
Bob: If dealing with such loss is difficult for someone in this life, do you often find that such people have had similar difficulties in past lives? In other words, is there often a similar relationship with grief from one life to the next?
Laura: Sometimes, but not always. Every soul is as unique as their own fingerprint. Remember, there are billions and billions of us down here and no two souls the same. That means that no two souls will experience the same things, in precisely the same way. We each have our own life work and history to navigate. If we have struggled with grief work in past lives, we will face it again (remember it's inescapable and multifaceted). It is part of our larger soul work, and if we haven't done the best we feel we can in the past...then here it comes again. The difference is that this time, we will now have a chance to do better...even one percent better than we did in our lives before. This is something that I often educate people about during private sessions and readings if it pertains to specifically to them. In doing so I will look at their relevant past lives and lead the client to the pivotal tools for change for right here and now.
Bob: I guess, then, that the question really is: how do we work with our grief?
Laura: For starters, we need to reframe it. Start to see grief as a sacred time, an inescapable part of our soul work. Keep it primal. Get up every day and somehow breath in and out. When whole days seem overwhelming, break it up into smaller increments. Sit and watch the clock tic off a minute and when you are done, reach for another. Be supremely gentle with yourself. That means be patient, tolerant, kind, understanding, forgiving, and more. Remember that grief is a process. Taking Rescue Remedy (Bach Flower essence) is also big help.
Focus on staying present, and relishing this sacred space for what it is. Get outside each day and breath in the fresh air. Don't overwhelm yourself. Spend a few moments watching the clouds or the stars. Don't rush the people you love who are grieving through their sacred process. Respect it. Have compassion for it. Try to understand it. Don't quantify it (remember the scientist's conclusions), encourage those in grief not to censor themselves. Just be. The sky won't fall open and swallow you up. Offer to listen. Cry with them if you like. Don't take offense at their process.
Understand that just because there appear to be some 'good' days, doesn't mean that there won't be any more challenging moments or rough days. Grief is a lot like the stock market, it is not a linear thing. It's a lot more like the graphs of the stock market (yikes!), spiking up and down with every breeze. Those who are able to be present, be it physically, emotionally, spiritually, or psychically - despite their fears - do bring comfort. They help to expand our inadequate grief model into a better place. And they become part of the sacred journey of healing and help God to spread grace around all of our hearts.
If you are stuck in the grieving place and not moving, seek support. Join a grief group, see a counselor, use some natural remedies (like the Bach Flower essences or homeopathy), consider an alternative approach like mediumship or a reading. Remember there are no time tables or limits to grief. We are all unique. For some grieving takes months, for others it is years, even decades. The important thing is for us to remember not to judge another's process and push our own expectations on them.
Bob: Are there tools or books that can further help our grief work?
Laura: Yes, the www.GriefandBelief.com website is a fantastic resource too. I also strongly recommend keeping a journal to record your passage through this sacred process. The Ancient Stardust Progress Journal is designed to help guide people through life changes, awakenings, loss, etc. It's excellent at demystifying the journaling process and helping you to connect with your own process and awakenings.
Also, there are two CD's in the Ancient Stardust Tools for Change CD Series, that would be great for anyone going through a grieving process. The first is Grounding and Centering, which will help you to focus on your breathing and the other is called Higher Purpose. The Higher Purpose CD has been a phenomenon. The meditation was originally created to help people connect in with their angels, spirit guides, and animal messengers. But deceased loved ones have been showing up and taking the journey with listeners-bringing them comfort and messages and more! I have experienced this first hand and the effects have been mind blowing, even for a psychic like me! The feedback coming to my office has been very moving.
Bob: Laura, I know that you are able to communicate with people in spirit, although that is not all that you do as a psychic, spiritual teacher and channel for healing. But considering your ability to convey messages from spirit, do you believe it is helpful for the grieving to communicate with their deceased loved ones?
Laura: Yes, I do think it is helpful, but I also think it isn't fully enough. The next logical step once you know that your loved one is okay is to learn more about the progress of the soul, including your own. A major focus of my life work is to help educate people about this, and I do a lot of work in private session to help people understand how to raise their own vibrations and awareness up so that they can become more empowered. When we are empowered, it is the next natural step to understand all the ways our loved ones are with us and to start looking to see the big picture.
Bob: What are some of the methods that you recommend for spirit communication: mediumship, prayer, meditation, other?
Laura: Yes those and more. I think the most important thing to remember is that knowledge is power. Read! The Complete Idiot's Guide to Divining the Future is a treasure trove of knowledge to help people understand how to use tools like the ones you've mentioned responsibly. It will help readers to identify their own strengths and gifts, understand their own unique wiring, and ultimately to become more empowered in the process. If people are looking to mediums for private readings, be sure to look for the right fit for you. Do your homework. Visit www.BestPsychicMediums.comfor starters!
Bob: Do our loved ones attempt to communicate with us from the spirit world?
Laura: Oh yes!
Bob: What are some of the signs we should look for?
Laura: Dream visitations, smells, electronic interferences, synchronicities, tapping, clicking, coin dropping, sound frequency changes and more.
Bob: Why do they try to give us these signs? Why is it important for them to convey these messages or make their presence felt?
Laura: Have you ever read a great book or seen a good movie that you couldn't wait to tell the people in your life about? Felt so good (happy, inspired, enthusiastic, etc) that you wanted to tell people? Especially the people that you know are worrying about you and care about you? Well, think along those lines. As for our loved ones having a vested interest in our daily grind, mostly they could care less. It's more like they see us struggling and send us signs to remind us to lighten up, laugh, enjoy the journey, don't feel so alone. They are trying to help us see the big picture.
Bob: I'm curious, Laura, how our grieving affects our loved ones on the other side?
Laura: Thank you for asking that Bob. Grief does affect our loved ones on The Other Side. I sometimes read for clients who are having trouble letting their grieving process unfold, because in some way they fear that if they allow their grief to heal, then they think they will feel farther from their deceased loved one instead of closer to them. It's actually the opposite for the soul though. Our grief actually has a way of clogging up the ethereal communication lines. Our earthly grief can also be a distraction or concern for our loved ones who have crossed over, in that they don't want to upset us further by reaching out, or they are trying to reach out and we are so clogged up with the funk of grief that we just can't hear it, feel it, see it, experience it, etc.
Bob: Why is it important for "us" that we learn to move to this next phase of communication with our deceased loved ones?
Laura: Because our own earthly grief can prevent our loved ones from finishing up their own process of leaving the body behind and moving forward. In our ego minds we cling to what we knew, but in doing so, we hold up progress, both theirs and ours. When we grow to understand the changes from a soul's perspective, a new language of communication begins. When we learn how to embrace it and celebrate it, we actually have more peace, happiness and joy because we are in the zone of infinite love that 'they' are now in. It raises up our own frequencies and actually makes it easier to feel 'them' around us. It's so important for us to remember that we will all be together again. Our loved ones just took an earlier train to the destination we are all going. And when we do get 'there,' our loved ones will be waiting at the platform to greet us.
Bob: In light of all this, what can you tell us about how we "chart" our exit points from the physical plane to the spiritual plane? Do we always know when we are going to cross over?
Laura: We all have several exit opportunities charted, but there is usually no conscious memory of this. Most people can sit and think of at least a few times in retrospect when they 'dodged a close one.' But that is all retrospect. No, we do not always know when we are going to cross over, that is a private choice made in charting the soul. Some souls may opt for awareness and to begin their life review process while still here on earth, while others may not choose this option in their chart, so as to create a different opportunity for learning and growing for others here.
Bob: This has been really enlightening. I'm not sure I'll look at the grieving process the same again. It really helps to put grief into perspective. Thanks for teaching us all this.
Laura: You are most welcome Bob! Thank you for the opportunity to help your readers learn more about the big picture of grief and how it effects the work of their soul.
Bob: If people would like to contact you about counseling for their grief, private readings and/or soul work, how can they learn more about you?
Laura: They can call my office toll free at 1-866-897-1504 or visit my website:www.ancientstardust.com, or read my spiritual advice column "Ask Laura" along with numerous articles I have written that are published on OfSpirit.com, many of which deal directly with soul work and the subject of grief. Many of these articles can be found of OfSpirit.com's Psychics & Mediums page