02/12/2014 01:46 pm ET Updated Apr 12, 2014

Healing Your Heart: 3 Ways to Cope With Loss and Grief

Losing a loved one -- whether it's through separation, divorce or death -- is never easy. It is painful, sometimes so painful that it may feel much better to push the pain away rather than facing it head on. Unfortunately, that only prolongs the pain and allows it to manifest in much more harmful ways in your body, mind and spirit. You end up giving your power away to the pain, which keeps you in a self-defeating cycle of depression and anxiety.

Choosing instead to face the pain will ensure that you are free from this type of harm -- and it will allow for the healing process to begin. However, choosing this course will take courage, patience and support. If you can muster the courage, be willing to be patient and seek the support you need (perhaps in the form of counseling or maybe a support group), you have all the necessary pieces in place for your heart to begin to heal.

Once you lay the groundwork for your healing process, you may try some of these suggestions to raise your emotional, psychological and spiritual understanding of loss:

  • Allow your grief to surface. Know first that allowing yourself to be present with your feelings is not only safe for you but is a necessary part of life. We are meant to experience many different emotions -- both good and bad. These emotional ranges are like exercise for our heart and therefore, all emotions are good for us. Keep that in mind.
  • Let go of your beliefs about loss. Many people have deep beliefs about loss in general that will gravely affect their healing process. It doesn't matter if you know what beliefs you have or not, just be willing to let them go and allow room for what is true about loss to surface in your awareness.
  • Allow love to flow. Whether this is your love for another or their love for you, love is always flowing - even if that person is no longer in your life.** Love is like the air you breathe, it is always present regardless of what you may think. Fighting love is like holding your breath. You're hurting yourself by not allowing it to be. All attempts at stopping love are futile anyway so you may as well go with the flow. It's good for your heart and it's good for you. Trust that.

As with any healing process, it's important to emphasize the need for detachment from your ego. Until you learn to trust in your heart and in love, your ego will occasionally sabotage your efforts to heal. As a general rule, thoughts that make you feel less than or better than are indicative of your ego's presence and will keep you out of the flow of healing. The more attention you give to love, the better off you are.

Choosing to face the pain and begin the healing process is the biggest step you can take. Once you do, you are halfway there. And if you choose not to "go there" just yet, that's okay too. Just keep in mind that eventually you will need to make that decision.

**As an intuitive counselor and medium, I have experienced the truth that even when relationships end and/or loved ones have passed, love itself never dies. Love itself exists everywhere, always. In the case of relationships ending, it's the focus of attention, companionship, etc. that ends -- not the love. In the case of loved ones who have passed, their love for you is still as strong as it was when they were alive... sometimes even stronger.