When Grief Lands with Love

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August 23, 2022

When Grief Lands with Love

Sherry Walling August 23, 2022

Join Sounds True’s founder, Tami Simon, in this compassionate podcast with Dr. Sherry Walling about her new book, Touching Two Worlds, as they discuss navigating the duality that exists on the opposite spectrums of our lives, the healing practice of writing about our experiences of grief, overcoming the stigma and silence around suicide, the just-world hypothesis and how traumatic events change our view, accepting limitations in life while taking responsibility for finding our own sense of meaning, accessing a sense of calm and grace to release the unresolved shock of grief, finding closure versus finding the place “where grief lands with love,” and more.

Sherry Walling, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, speaker, podcaster, yoga teacher, and entrepreneur. Her life’s work is helping high-achieving people navigate painful and complex experiences. Her podcast, ZenFounder, has been called a “must listen” by both Forbes and Entrepreneur magazines and has been downloaded more than a million times. Learn more at sherrywalling.com.

Author photo © BethanyBirniedotcom

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Founded Sounds True in 1985 as a multimedia publishing house with a mission to disseminate spiritual wisdom. She hosts a popular weekly podcast called Insights at the Edge, where she has interviewed many of today's leading teachers. Tami lives with her wife, Julie M. Kramer, and their two spoodles, Rasberry and Bula, in Boulder, Colorado.

Photo © Jason Elias

Also By Author

When Grief Lands with Love

Join Sounds True’s founder, Tami Simon, in this compassionate podcast with Dr. Sherry Walling about her new book, Touching Two Worlds, as they discuss navigating the duality that exists on the opposite spectrums of our lives, the healing practice of writing about our experiences of grief, overcoming the stigma and silence around suicide, the just-world hypothesis and how traumatic events change our view, accepting limitations in life while taking responsibility for finding our own sense of meaning, accessing a sense of calm and grace to release the unresolved shock of grief, finding closure versus finding the place “where grief lands with love,” and more.

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Embracing Empathy as Your Superpower

What do I do when a loved one is suffering? How do I have empathy if I’m getting a divorce or losing my job? If my family treats me unfairly? Or if I’m emotionally overwhelmed or in chronic pain?

If you’ve ever asked yourself these questions, I’ve written The Genius of Empathy for you. It also includes a beautiful foreword by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

In the book, I present empathy as a healing force that helps you overcome obstacles in your life with dignity, grace, and power. As a psychiatrist and empath, I draw from my insights and present techniques from my own life and from the healing journeys of my clients, students, and readers. As I say in the book, “Empathy softens the struggle, quiets the unkind voices, and lets you befriend yourself again.”

Empathy doesn’t mean being “on call” 24 hours a day for those in need. Empaths can often wear an invisible sign that says, “I can help you.” However, if you want to heal yourself, have better relationships, and contribute to healing our tumultuous world, you must learn how to set healthy boundaries and observe, not absorb, the energy of others.

To start taking a more proactive role in how much empathy you give others at any one time, I suggest that you keep in mind the following “rights.” They will help you maintain a healthy mindset and prevent or lessen any empathy overwhelm that might arise:

  • I have the right to say a loving, positive “no” or “no, thank-you.”
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  • I have the right to rest and not be always available to everyone.
  • I have the right to quiet peacefulness in my home and in my heart.

Practice: Take a Sound Break to Repair Yourself

Plan periods of quiet to recover from our noisy, fast-paced world. This helps calm your nervous system and your mind, an act of self-empathy.

It’s rejuvenating to schedule at least five minutes of quiet or, even better, complete silence for an hour or more where no one can intrude. As I do, hang a Do Not Disturb sign on your office or bedroom door. During this reset period, you’ve officially escaped from the world. You’re free of demands and noxious sounds. You may also get noise canceling earbuds to block out noise.

If too much quiet is unsettling, go for a walk in a local park or a peaceful neighborhood to decompress from excessive sound stimulation. Simply focus on putting one foot in front of the other, which is called mindful walking. Nothing to do. Nothing to be. Move slowly and refrain from talking. If thoughts come, keep refocusing on your breath, each inhalation and exhalation. Just letting life settle will regenerate your body and empathic heart.

Embracing your empathy does require courage. It can feel scary. If you’re ready to discover its healing power, I would be honored to be your guide to helping you in overcoming your fears and obstacles, and enhancing this essential skill for long-term change.

Though many of us have never met, I feel connected to you. Connection is what fuels life. While empathy is what allows you to find peace. With both, we can make sense of this world together.

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Ignite empathy as a superpower for personal healing, deeper relationships, and more potent work in the world. New York Times bestselling author Dr. Judith Orloff draws on insights from neuroscience, psychology, and energy medicine to show us how to access our sensitivities, soothe our nervous systems, and embody our most fierce and authentic selves.

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