This is the time of year when we experience so many emotions:
Holidays, family, and social engagements can trigger all of these emotions at different times, especially when those we've lost come to mind.
A powerful lesson I've learned as I have processed losing loved ones over the years is that we can give ourselves the grace to choose thoughts that bring us peace rather than thoughts that leave us feeling empty.
Perhaps even better, we can continue to improve our relationship with loved ones who are no longer physically with us.
Check out this week's episode of The Breast Cancer Recovery Coach Podcast, and I'll give you all the details on how this has worked in my life and how it can work for you too.
You're listening to the breast cancer recovery coach podcast. I'm your host, Laura Lummer. I'm a Certified Life health and nutrition coach, and I'm also a breast cancer thriver. If you're trying to figure out how to move past the trauma and the emotional toll of breast cancer, you've come to the right place. In this podcast, I will give you the tools and the insights to create a life that's even better than before breast cancer. Well, let's get started.
Hello, friends, welcome to episode 221 of the breast cancer recovery coach podcast, Laura Lummer. I'm excited to be here with you today. And before I even jump into the show, I want to remind you that you can pre enroll in the four pillars of breast cancer recovery coaching experience. Now, you can go to my website, the breast cancer recovery coach.com forward slash pillars, where you can get all the details and enroll. But I want to tell you that if you enroll before midnight on December 31, because we kick it all off on January 1, you get some very, very special pre enrollment bonuses. One of those is that you get a great deal, you get an early bird pricing. So it's a fantastic special. And you also get to do this experience with me inside, the better than before breast cancer membership. So what that means is, I have different programs. And after this one that we go through beginning January 1, the four pillars of breast cancer recovery coaching program will be a standalone, but this time, the first time that I'm doing it, I'm doing it with you, and all of the members inside my life coaching membership. So you will have access to all of the fantastic content inside the life coaching membership for the whole duration of the four pillars coaching experience, which is four months long. Trust me, you do not want to miss it, go to the breast cancer recovery coach.com forward slash pillars and pre Enroll now. All right, so let's jump into this week's show. I want to talk today about something that's been coming up a lot lately. And I know that it has a lot to do with the holidays in my coaching calls, this has happened and also just recently an experience with a good friend of mine. It's very common that around this time of year, when we have had people that we love who have left us that we feel a tremendous amount of sadness, that we feel that void in our lives. And I have a friend who recently lost a close friend. And as we were talking about her loss, she was sharing with me how the friend that she lost really believed very much in energy and people being together and being present whether we were physically in this world or not. And I had said to her, you know, she's always with you. We're all energy. And even if we're not physically present, we can still connect to each other. And she said, You know, I'd like to believe that. But now that she's not here, I think was that her that I feel that? Is she really there? How do I know?
Now there's been a few coaching sessions that I've had, where women have shared with me a loss they've had recently some very recently, some this year, and some have been long term losses that they've had for five or more years. And yet at this time, they feel sadness again at the holidays. And that sadness is something that is sometimes so overwhelming that it takes away from what's actually happening in the here and now that it takes away from their ability to enjoy who is here with them and what they are doing in our life today in their lives today. And I totally understand that I have shared before on this podcast, I lost my brother when he was 32 years old. He died of testicular cancer 10 years ago, my dad passed. And definitely that had an impact on the holidays and the way that we share the holidays in our family and experience the holidays. And there were definitely more years where it was harder on me after the loss of my brother. But I learned a lot through that. So I was better able to handle it after the loss of my dad. But the point that I want to get to here is when we're feeling that sadness, when we're feeling that void, it's totally normal. Right? I don't think that the void ever goes away. The pain and the sadness oftentimes can become less intense with time. And then we're able as we go through the grieving process to have more of an ability to speak of those people that we loved, and be in more joy as we speak about it without so much heaviness and sadness. But it's a process
That's because we only know what's here in this physical world. And so we feel that loss. And I think that that also is sometimes stronger with us after having a diagnosis of breast cancer, because we not only have that loss that we're thinking about, but we are worried or in fear or have those same thoughts about us, and how the loss of our life will impact others. And I think that when we think that way, we bring up even more sadness. And when we do that to ourselves, we take ourselves again, out of this moment into a future that doesn't currently exist. And we create a lot more sadness. And we make life a lot harder on us and on other people, that people who are still with us here in this day that we can be present with and that we can be sharing joy with, we're kind of pulling away from, and going into thoughts that remove us from this moment. So I want to touch on the comment that I shared with you, where my friend said, Well, now that she's gone, I think,
is she here? Is she not here? Can I believe that? Is it true? And I want to share with you something that I do on a regular basis, because I choose to believe that it is true. And inside, I not only choose to believe that it is true that we can feel the connection and have the presence of energy of those that we love. But I also believe that we can actually improve our relationships with the people, we love to have left this planet after they're gone, we can make it even better. And I say that because I would say in the last 10 years that I've lost my dad, I have an even better relationship with him now, in that process of talking with my dad of connecting a feeling of allowing myself to feel my dad, and of allowing myself to get to reflect on his life from the perspective, not of what I'm missing, not of what's gone. But from the perspective of who He really was. You know, what sadness was he experiencing? What pains did he experience that led him to make some of the choices that he made? What joy did he find in life? What thoughts do I can I see now more clearly than I saw, maybe when he was here and physically present in in that process of thinking that way, nearly every day when I go for my morning walk. That's what I think about, I talk to my dad, I say, Hey, Dad, I just kind of check in with him.
And in doing that, I've been able to release a lot, I've been able to forgive a lot, I've been able to have more empathy for what my dad experienced in his life. And I've been able to let go of a lot of anger I was holding on to because I thought my dad should have lived his life differently than what he did. And obviously, I realize that that was his journey, that that was what his soul needed, for whatever reason. And I've come to terms with that and made peace with that. So I no longer judge him. And I no longer hold against him. What he did or didn't do that I think would have been better able to just feel His presence. And also have these conversations because we really do know the people who've left us, right. I mean, my dad passed when I was 50 years old, I think I was fifth D 4949 or 50. I don't remember 2012. And
I know my dad, right? So in the moments where I feel that void where maybe you think I wish I could talk to this person, I wish I could hear what this person had to say. I just want to offer that if we sit and we really feel that connection. And we hold on to the memories of those that we loved, that we could say, You know what this person would tell me this in this moment. We don't have to wonder, and we don't have to guess at it. And we don't have to tell ourselves, we're missing something. Because in our heart of hearts, we know. And I think that that helps to deepen the connection that helps to bring us peace. And as I talk about this, I think it's important to point out that when I share that, should I how do I know how do I know if they're there? How do I know if they're not there? How do I know if that's what I'm feeling? Well, I don't think you do. No. I think you just get to choose to believe. I think like so many other things in life. We choose what we want to believe and that doesn't mean we live in delusion or we lie to ourselves. But it means that in this kind of a situation where you have a special time in your life and you may be feeling a sadness or avoid that you can choose to look at that and put the energy in the thoughts in
To the void, or you can choose to believe that you can connect and feel this person and recall their love and recall their words and recall their relationship. Because it's not that one thought is true. And one isn't. Because there is no proof, right? Once a person's gone, they're not physically here. No one can prove to me that I can't feel my dad's energy that I can't feel my brother's energy, that when I see the little signs that I associate with my brother, and I think, and I tell myself, Oh, there he is, here he is with me. Or I say, Hey, Randy, I know you're here. No one can prove to me that he isn't right on an energetic level. So it's just as true for me to believe that that is him. And that is a little sign from him a little message and a moment where I may need it. It's just as true for me as to think he isn't. But to think he isn't, doesn't feel good. And so I think it's important in those times where we ask ourselves, if I can't prove one way or the other, why not choose what you want to believe, based on what brings you peace, based on what you want to think, sometimes we just get to accept that. If I want to think that when I walk out on the beach in the morning, and I acknowledge my dad, and I feel his presence in my heart that he feels me too. I want to believe that because it makes me feel good. And so I choose to believe that. And people can argue with me left and right. But no one can show me evidence to prove that that's not true. So why not believe it? Why not do the things that bring us peace, that make our life easier? Why not do the things that are examples of kindness to ourselves, we go through this life, so often saying Be kind, be kind be nice, pay it forward, do nice things for others. And I want to say do something nice for you. When you're going through difficult times, or when you're experiencing a loss, or a grieving or a missing of someone, you get to choose to be kind to yourself about it, you get to choose to grab on to a belief or a thought that fills your heart with love, rather than one of sadness. And I'm certainly not saying don't be sad. I'm not saying don't be sad about people that you've loved and people that you've lost, that I'm saying when that sadness evolves, to the extent that it interferes with your ability to be present in your life, that it's an important thing to look at the thoughts you're choosing about it, the things that you're telling yourself, and are the things that you're telling yourself true.
Or could something else be equally as true and more comforting. So I want to take this one step further. Here, we're talking about improving relationships with those who are no longer on this physical planet, just because it's come up a lot recently. And I think it's a way that we can help ourselves. But we can also improve the relationships for those who still are physically here and physically present. Also, by changing our own thoughts, you know, as I said, I could improve the relationship with my dad, even when my dad wasn't here, because of the way that I think differently about him of the way that I can look at him and feel empathy for what may have been his perception and his human experience, and how that may have impacted his life. We can do the same thing with the people that are still with us. So if we noticed during the holidays, that we're finding annoyance come up that we're finding frustration come up. Sometimes we have to look at our own thoughts about that. What are we telling ourselves about it? And if you want that relationship to be better and more fulfilling? How could you choose to be more empathetic and look at it differently? How can you choose to create the relationship you want? By the way you think about the person you're in that relationship with? It may sound like a little weird right off the bat, you may think well, what the heck, it takes two, it takes two, but sometimes it doesn't. Because sometimes when one person makes a decision to think differently, and show up differently, that changes the dynamic. And then both people show up differently. Right. So if you're not showing up, always expecting someone to do what they've done in the past. You're not going to respond the way you've always responded in the past. You decide you're going to show up as that future person you want to be in the relationship you want to be living. When you show up like that. The person that you're interacting with will have to shift. They have to they show up differently because you're a different person. Now it may be a little easier to begin to shift those thoughts with someone who actually
isn't here on this physical plane with us. But it is equally as effective at improving a relationship. So whatever the relationship is, if you're feeling sadness about it during this time of year, if you're feeling a void if you want it to be something different, no, that that power, really and truly is yours, know that a couple of exercises you can do is one, write out all of your thoughts about that relationship? What did that relationship mean to you? What are all the stories you tell yourself about it? And then look at what else might be true. What else might be happening with this person? What else may have happened? What do you know, this person would want to say to you, what kind of kindness is in love with this person want to extend to you whether they're here or not here, because you're doing this work on your own in your bedroom in your journal. But doing that and looking at a range of perspectives can sometimes move us out of where we get stuck in the past. And it can help us to open ourselves to the potential of a better relationship that makes our life better because it is or was in our lives. And then we can hold on to the gift of that relationship, and the value that it brought us with all of the energy and all of the love that comes with it.
And this practice of working on your own thoughts about a relationship, whether that person is still here with you or not, is so important, because we carry with us so often, the guilt and the shame of I should have said, and I should have known or why didn't they or why didn't I and especially if a person is no longer here with us, when we work through that with conversations that we have with them with thoughts that we have about them, we release ourselves from that pain. And it may take time. And it may take a lot of conversations I know that it has for me. But it does work. And we want to move forward rather than holding on to a belief that says there's nothing I can do to make this better now because the person's gone, it's too late. Now, when we choose that belief, and we have unresolved issues, then we choose to hold on to that pain, when it's okay. And you can give yourself the permission to believe that that communication is something that can be healing, you get to choose to believe that that person knows the love that's in your heart. And can he'll read along with you. I mean, why not choose that as a thought. And for the thoughts that you work on for the people who are still with you whether or not the relationship improves, whether or not you still have contact with them. If you improve the relationship on your end through your thoughts, you bring peace to yourself, you release, you forgive you light in your heart, I see it all the time I experience it myself. And so you technically improve that relationship, even if there is no interaction. Because when you hear about that person, or if you run into that person, or you have to be in an event with that person, you are not all tied up in knots inside of you. And you can go on with peace. So know that going forward to heal a relationship by the conversations you have with yourself is so much more powerful than what we typically do, which is just to ruminate on the past actions of that person, or what that relationship look like, that can't be changed, right? What's in the past can't be changed, and how we view it, how we choose to think about it, and how we choose to show up going forward, that can change. So the thoughts have to shift from what they did and what I experienced and how I felt and what I saw when I didn't say to how do I want to feel going forward. And then you can have healthier conversations and sometimes they may not start off healthy. Sometimes they may start off with you in your mind, telling them all the things that they did that you thought were wrong. And that's okay too, because it's part of release, as long as the intention is to move forward with shifting your perspective so that you can heal and you can feel at peace. So I hope that someone out there needed to hear that and that it may help you to have a more peaceful and a more joyful holiday season. And I'll talk to you again next week. Until then, Please be good to yourself. And come and join me and pre enroll in the four pillars of breast cancer recovery coaching program, because we'll start off the year with letting go of some of these things that create blocks for you to be able to see where you can invite more joy into your life. You're gonna love it. I'll talk to you soon.