News from Jude Bijou and Attitude Reconstruction™      


Joy, Love, and Peace in 2017

Attitiude Reconstruction  


  Mourning your Losses                                    July 2017  


Jude Bijou 
Jude Bijou MA MFT is a respected psychotherapist, professional educator, and workshop leader. Her multi award- winning book is a practical and spiritual handbook to help you create the life you desire.  
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"I'm not losing my memory. I'm living in the now."

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Keys to a Good Life, a book that includes a collection of articles, including one by yours truly on how to deal with anxiety!

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Hello friends,

Summer is definitely here. I hope it's not too hot where you live. Here in Santa Barbara the weather forecast has been for over the top heat, but so far it has stayed well below 84 degrees. It's hard to imagine how Palm Springs is fairing with a temperature of 119!

Keep all those firemen and women who are battling all the wildfires tin your hearts. Indeed, there will be much loss, which makes this month's issue particularly relevant.

Four Interesting Articles

First, take a tour of Bill Gates' humble home on Lake Washington. Over the top but he gets points for style.

I thought it was eye-opening to see where in the country all the veterans live.

Acupressure points for memory, migraines, and concentration.

Funny and familiar lies parents tell their kids. 
Four Videos Guaranteed to Amaze!

First is cats doing weird things.

Second, people react to being called beautiful.

Here's a breathtaking time-lapse video of cactus blooming. It reminds me of fireworks. And it's a reminder that all living things are subject to the forces of creation, maintenance, and dissolution.

The last video is a silly one: Sofia Vergara selling diet Pepsi on the Ellen show, with Ellen trying to distract her from her script.    
Dealing with Loss

Before something new can be created, something must be left behind. But many endings aren't the ones we wanted or expected. Many of us are still left holding an empty bag of dreams; jobs lost, 'forever' relationships abandoned, or loved ones who have passed on. Losses can also be about money, hair, health, or a child moving out to go to college.

Losses are as much a natural part of life as your breath or the sunrise. Somewhere, we got the idea that losses should be avoided at all costs because they are too painful. The result: no one taught us to effectively mourn when a significant ending occurs. As a result we often are stuck in a flat, gray place.

Loss can be a double whammy. There is the loss itself, but also when you don't deal with important endings effectively, your ability to move on and feel open, safe, and vulnerable vanishes. You carry around your emotional wounds like a heavy weight strapped to your back. The confidence to climb out of the abyss shrinks. "You're forever shattered," your mind says. "The world is cold, cruel, and unfair."

Life's colors fade into monochrome as you lose interest in everything. No motivation, meaning, or sense of belonging. Or you can take the opposite coping strategy and just carry on as if nothing significant happened. For some, handling losses can feel like an impossible assignment.

Sadness and flatness won't be your only companion. Fear edges you out of meaningful interactions, keeping you to itself, for worry you'll get your tender heart broken again. Anger also vies for attention, turning you against everyone - yourself, others, and the universe.
The Five Steps to Move Through Loss
Losses make sorrow and grief feel bottomless with no end in sight. But facing your emotions is taking the first step to push them out of your body and out of your space. Whether you've been laid off from the job you've had for the last 20 years, your sibling unexpectedly died, or you need to end a long-term relationship, here are Attitude Reconstruction's five tips to help you move through the painful event.

1. Freedom comes from facing your loss and crying. Tears are nectar. Crying is healing. It's the body's natural reaction to hurts and losses. Acknowledge your loss and cry it out. You can be alone or with someone, in therapy, or with a friend or partner.
The listener's job is to just provide a safe place - not offer "wisdom" or personal experiences. As the silent witness, lovingly keep offering a safe ear. Keep offering. Often it takes repeated and respectful invitations to venture into this painful domain.

When you are able to talk about the loss, voice what you miss and what you appreciated most about the person or situation. Talk about and relive the wonderful memories. Speak about all the qualities you loved, what you won't experience any more, and all the adventures you had together. After each memory or quality, over and over, say "Thank you" and allow yourself to cry when the tears surface.

2. You also must say the "dreaded" G word - good-bye - to fully acknowledge the ending. Saying "good-bye" can be incredibly hard and usually brings up tons more sadness. With the loss of a sibling, say good-bye to your dreams of growing old together and doing fun things. It's painful but necessary in order to heal. Say, "I miss you. I love you. Good-bye. Good-bye."

3. Express the fear and anger that surfaces, physically and constructively. If you're left feeling anxious or panicky, shake and shiver that fear out of your body while continually reminding yourself, "Something greater than me is in charge. This is not in my control."

Anger is also part of dealing with a loss, reminding you how unfair this tragedy is. I recommend you find a constructive way to pound, push, shout, or stomp out the anger energy - hard, fast, and with abandon - where no one or nothing of value is destroyed. While moving the anger energy, remind yourself that, "It is the way it is. It's not the way I think it should be."

4. Attending to your emotions and thoughts frees up some energy to start to say "hello" to life again. If you've isolated yourself, take tiny steps to reach out and reconnect with others. Do something little like shopping, sharing a meal, or seeing a movie. Even if you feel like a robot going through the motions, do it anyway. It will get easier as you re-engage with your world.

5. Whenever you feel yourself sinking, take a few minutes to cry and say "good-bye" again. Like the proverbial onion, you'll have to peel away the layers of missing, bit by bit, to thoroughly process your loss.

It takes time to move through that helpless-hopeless feeling that descends when you lose something or someone dear. But have faith. Gradually, you'll find your enthusiasm, confidence, and energy returning. And little by little, the light will begin to shine.

Hey Jude!

When I heard that my friend was in a serious accident I felt very sad, but I couldn't cry. Why?

The sadness isn't going to go away on its own. Unexpressed emotions pile up, and we start to feel bad about ourselves. Those voices become stronger and bigger and louder than anything else. You may have lost sight of the severity of your friend's accident and are denying something has happened. Set aside some time to acknowledge your friend's situation. Think about the particulars. Putting yourself in her shoes will bring up sadness, anger, and fear. Shiver about what it would mean if it were you. Remind yourself, "I'll feel better if I cry. It's okay. I just feel sad." If you find yourself resisting, be gentle but persistent, and you'll tap into your sadness.
        I'm sending you best wishes for a great July.

Thanks for reading this newsletter. If you have any feedback, suggestions about a newsletter theme, or general comments, I enjoy hearing from you, so write me at:
                           With love,