In addition to the five stages offered by Kübler-Ross, two more stages can be found: “Love Entering In” and “Love Consuming.” I call them “The Seven Stages of Healing.”
Have you ever considered why individuals exhibit markedly different responses to the same or similar situation? Why does one individual respond with anger while another responds with shame or anxiety? In addition to the impact our unique subconscious files have on our behavior (vis-a-vis our Enneagram type), we also experience life through a series of seven different emotional stages. In Kübler-Ross’ model, the five stages of grief, we witness a series of these emotions. These stages include Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Upon examination of these stages, we can see that individuals cycle through them throughout their life in an attempt to cope with the challenges life offers. In addition to the five stages offered by Kübler-Ross, two more stages can be found: “Love Entering In” and “Love Consuming.” I call them “The Seven Stages of Healing.”
The Seven Stages of Healing
6. Love Entering In
7. Love Consuming
Regardless of what stage you are in at this time of your life, it is important to honor the fact that you exist where you are in an attempt to best cope with the struggles you have faced in your life up until this point. You are doing the best you can, given the load you are carrying—we all are. Additionally, it is through your struggles that the road map to happiness and peace will be found. However, before you can persevere on your journey, you must first develop an understanding of where you are, where you have been, and where you are going.
Once you understand how Denial is enlisted as a protective shield, how the hedge of Anger holds you captive like a prisoner, what the false hope of Bargaining really costs you, and the how close you are to freedom while in the midst of Depression, you can then begin to experience real hope and believe that lasting happiness and peace are indeed available to you. Real hope enters into your heart as you begin to accept the truth of your life. Acceptance, in turn, opens the door for love to enter in and heal as only love can heal.
1 – Denial
Let’s begin with the coping mechanism of Denial. Individuals will enter into Denial in an attempt to deal with pain or trauma that is too much to handle. Individuals who have experienced earlier childhood trauma or PTSD (post-traumatic stress syndrome) frequently utilize Denial as an attempt to numb the pain. Given that modern science has now revealed that PTSD can adversely affect the DNA of subsequent generations, it is important that we address this coping mechanism effectively. Everyone’s threshold for stress is different and modern science is now revealing that our stress barometer is intimately linked not only to our personal traumas but also to the generational traumas of those who came before us. Regardless of why someone is using Denial to cope with buried pain, it is important to respect the fact that they have experienced hurts in life beyond their ability to process them and move beyond.
So what does Denial look like? Denial can be virtually impossible to recognize to the inattentive eye because if you are in Denial, you are very good at acting like all is well. After all, this is how you have learned how to cope with pain. In an attempt to hide your pain from the world, you have mastered the art of burying it deep within. However, one of the tell-tale signs that you or a loved one are in Denial is a blunting of emotions—good and bad. To be fully alive promises us a beautiful range of emotional highs and lows in life. In Denial, you are not aware there is a problem, you have buried the trauma and its pain. This pattern will likely continue throughout your life unless this pattern is interrupted.
About the Author:
Carolyn Berghuis MS, ND, CTN is a best-selling author of Understanding The Jesus Code, inspirational speaker, traditional naturopath, and free-lance Christian writer. She has spent over 20 years helping individuals experience real transformation in their body, heart and soul. A woman whose compassion and determination are a powerful portrait of the human spirit, she has discovered the path to real happiness and success. Her heart for healing propels her forward as she seeks to assist those on their journey towards happiness and wholeness. Being an “East” meets “West” type of woman, Carolyn has a unique ability to appreciate truth wherever she sees it.
Additionally, Carolyn is currently pursuing an MA in Pastoral Theology at Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology. Being an “East” meets “West” type of woman, Carolyn has a unique ability to appreciate truth wherever she sees it. Carolyn also holds a BS in Mathematics, a MS in Holistic Nutrition and a doctoral degree in Naturopathy.
Together with her husband, Scott Berghuis, Carolyn enjoys a rich family life with their three beautiful children and seven amazing grandchildren.
Visit Carolyn’s website: https://www.carolynberghuis.com/
You can purchase the book Understanding The Jesus Code (Amazon page): https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Jesus-Code-Carolyn-Berghuis/dp/1730872220/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1544203691&sr=8-2&keywords=understanding+the+jesus+code