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A recent experience with loss allowed me to feel immense discomfort that I couldn't run from. Feelings of vulnerability and sadness that made me feel sick to my stomach. We've all experienced loss. And most of us feel discomfort of some kind on a daily basis. It comes in various degrees, but it's there.

We can choose to numb those feelings. There are many ways to do that, but when it comes to loss or grief, the options are limited, because no amount of skirting around the discomfort will keep it at bay for long. At some point, we will have to sit in the discomfort, allow it to be there and process it somehow.

You'll Learn

There are no lessons in this episode. Just a girl, telling you her story with the hope that it reminds you you’re not alone.


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Episode Transcript


EP #57

“Do I need a life coach?” You’re listening to Episode 57, with Rhiannon Bush

Welcome to the Do I need a life coach? Podcast. We’re here to discuss the ins- and outs- of the life coaching industry and give you tools to use, to see for yourself. I’m your host, Rhiannon Bush. Mother, management consultant and a passionate, certified life coach.

I lost my grandfather recently. And it’s hard to say that I was sad because I feel so lucky to have had him for such a long time. He was 92 years old. And he’d lived an incredible life and what I love so much about having him around for as long as I did, was that with that time, I got all the stories . I got stories of his days working on the hop farm when he was a child after leaving school at age 10. And the draft horses and the cold, and when he first saw Nanna who went on to be his wife. I got the stories of his working days after he’d become a father, and of my father and my aunts and uncles when they were children. So I feel incredibly lucky to have known him when I was as adult, and to be able to remember so many of the things – the stories and the wisdom he shared with me.

I really feel as though in today’s society, we don’t treat the oldies with the respect they deserve and I see why we do, but it makes me sad. I’m reading a book at the moment that shared a study done on American College Students from 1982 – 2007 and the cases of narcasism grew exponentially due to the selfish nature our generations are being raised with after the Industrial Revolution, particularly in America with the golden bull of Wall Street symbolising power and prosperity.

But oldies have so much wisdom. They have seen so much. And it is an incredible thing to me, the lifetimes that they live through, the changes they’ve lived and witnessed, and that as a society, we don’t embrace their stories and embrace the learnings they can offer us around balance and the meaning of life.

So today I want to talk about loss. And to be completely honest with you, I don’t have a lot of strategies on how to deal with it. I’m not going to tell you that you can fix it, because I’m trying to work that out for myself. I saw my grandfather the night he died, to say goodbye. And I mean his body. Which was very confronting, but also lovely in the way that it gave me a sense of closure. It enabled me to see that his spirit had left, and to give him a cuddle, and to smell his smell because it still smelt like him, and to say goodbye. And I thought that I had released a lot of my sadness in that moment, so much sadness that I thought I didn’t have a lot left to be sad about. It turns out I was wrong.

For those of you, who listen to me, a lot, you know that I talk about emotions being stored in the body, and what we repress, remains. So really there’s no point. We need to find a way to release emotions to remain healthy, and to remain balanced. And one of the things I think is true, is that it isn’t only for negative emotion, but positive ones as well. Often, when we experience something good, we want to share it. And it’s also what attracts us, because when we experience good emotions, we want to be around people that are also experiencing those same emotions. Or, as I said on the Episode 29 about emotional transference, what you experience you pass on. So emotions are what bind us, connect us. Whether it’s positive or negative.

For those who like to be more positive, you will be attracted to people who choose to feel the same and you’ll pay attention to and be more attracted to positive vibes, and for those who have more negative, same goes. I have a colleague, Chantelle and she’s a ray of sunshine. I’ve met two people like her in my life – Jacinta and Chantelle and they are open, optimistic and they receive based on their ability to own who they are, be themselves and attract similar to them. It’s an incredible thing to witness and I feel unbelievably fortunate to have had women like that in my life. Sometimes their energy is youthful and sometimes I’ve seen people view it as immature or in business ‘junior’ but honestly, I’d rather be that way. Hopeful, energised, passionate, connected – both to themselves and to others. Radiating positivity and refusing to settle for anything less.

When I left my house to go to my grandfathers funeral, this discomfort just washed right over me. And I thought I had done enough emotional release, as I said, the night he passed. But as soon as Damien looked at me and said “we should probably go”, this wave of discomfort washed over me. I could’ve stayed touching my make-up and fiddling with my clothes for an extra 5 hours if I’d had to, and I say discomfort because that’s really what it was. I couldn’t pinpoint the emotion that I was feeling, I was just really uncomfortable and I fiddled. And Damien drove out to the funeral home. To get out to the funeral home, the road goes past where he was living for the last few years, and I just wanted the car to stop. I just wanted the car to turn around and go any other way, than that way. And I walked in to where the funeral was happening, and I saw all of these people I knew. People I hadn’t seen in years, and people I didn’t expect to see. And so I ended up buzzing around this place like it was a party, to be honest. And it was my brother’s partner who has a beautiful depth to her and doesn’t tend to ask superficial things, she looked at me and she said “how are you doing?”, and it was that deep, heartfelt “I can see right through this and I know you’re not ok” question. I started crying and I said “I don’t want to be here”.

The next thing that happened was my mum with ushering people to their seats saying it’s time to sit down and I don’t know if I said it out loud but everything in me was screaming “No, I’m not going. I’m not sitting down. I don’t want to be here. I don’t want to do this”. Looking back, it was the most vulnerable and immature part of myself digging her heels in and begging to not make me go and sit down because I don’t want to say goodbye, I wasn’t ready to. And the reason I talk about it, is because everything in me wanted to run. I wanted to run away, I wanted to be anywhere but there. I think every emotion we feel, where we truly don’t want to fight it but we’re forced to, feels like this. It brings out our most unresourceful parts, it shifts us into a part of ourselves that isn’t often allowed a voice and it’s this voice that needs to be heard and soothed and sometimes honoured. Because it is a part of you.

Even though the funeral’s been and gone, and we’ve said goodbye, I’m still experiencing these waves of sadness, that he’s gone. And not even the fact that he’s passed but the potential of what won’t happen in our family anymore, now our patriarch has gone. I’m not sure our family will be structured the same way as it was for me in future generations, because I’m not sure families are the same as they used to be.

I think so often any discomfort or emotion that we are experiencing that stops us moving forward, and stops us getting what we want in the way of results or goals, is a very similar thing. While it’s not grief, until we can sit in that emotion or sit in that space and feel what we need to feel even though it’s crap and we hate it, instead of drinking it away, or eating it, or f*cking it away, or, however it is that you may deal with your grievances, until we can truly sit in our discomfort and allow it and stop fighting it, we are never going to truly and sustainably get through it permanently.

It is one of the most uncomfortable things to experience, but learning to accept it, and instead of fighting, breathe into it long enough to let it pass, we can’t truly process the emotion. When my grandfather’s funeral started and I’d sat down, I didn’t have an escape route, and I couldn’t fall on the floor and have a melt down like I’d had the night he passed. I had to sit, feeling uncomfortable and go through the motions. Unfortunately, this isn’t a Bear Hunt. This isn’t one of the instances where you can go around it or go over it or go under it. I’ve tried and I think it’s safe to say we all have at some point in our lives because to go through it can be immensely painful. But there’s no escaping it. It’s there. It’s real. It exists. And one of the best things we can learn to do in our lives I believe, is to learn how to sit in that ickiness and pain and discomfort. Because only then can we process, accept, grow and move forward.

I’ll see you next week.

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Please note, this transcription may not be exact.

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