A friend of mine suddenly lost her relationship after more than a decade of happiness with her partner. He was the love of her life. After he left, she felt empty and despairing. She talked with her friends, exercised, meditated, and saw a therapist, all of which helped. But her grief still felt intense, and sometimes overwhelming.
Then she decided to add taking in the good to the other things she was doing to feel better, and something began to shift. “When I went for a run,” she told me later, “I felt good. When I stayed with how this felt, it was like the good feelings were soaking into my mind from the body up.” The same thing happened when she took a hot bath and let the relaxation sink in, or took the extra seconds to enjoy the satisfaction she felt when she finished a project at work. “My sadness and hopeless- ness began to pass away.” After a few weeks, she said that taking in good feelings a few times each day had played a real role in easing her sense of loss. “I honestly feel it helped me learn to be happy again.”
Her story is pretty dramatic, but it’s true. My friend didn’t try to paper over her hurt and sadness with positive thinking. She let her grief be, and slowly, over many months, it let go. Along the way, when she could, she let in positive experiences of vitality, relaxation, satisfaction, and eventually joy.
I’ve recorded a variety of audio programs and online courses with Sounds True, designed to help you deepen your personal practice of taking in the good. You can check these offerings out here.