Feet Grief. What is Feet Grief? I know…many of you ladies are saying, that’s what we experience in hour two of wearing ‘heels’. And while that is true and we’ve all been there, that’s not the kind of grief I am talking about.
I actually had a client who presented with Feet Grief. To be more specific, she came in with a strange ailment that would cause redness and terrible pain in her feet. It would be especially prominent at night and was preventing her from getting good quality sleep.
This chronic condition began to take over her life. She couldn’t work as she was in a profession that required a lot of time on her feet. She was in constant pain so the frustration, depression and discouragement were huge.
Like many grievers, she felt that she’d pretty well burned out all of her friends with her pain and her ‘story.’ She was feeling isolated, un-welcomed and rejected by many of her friends and family. The word Pariah was one with which she was resonating, big time.
While I am not a medical doctor, I was sure that underneath this condition were emotional issues because that is always the case. The emotion precedes the physical condition. So of course we were going to find the emotional issues and do some Energy Psychology work on them to begin to neutralize the root causes of the condition. We would also work on the emotions that had arisen in response to the constant pain.
The first thing that came up was the sadness and frustration about having to live like this. After all the foot condition had led to many losses for her. There was a loss of job, friends, sleep, joy, security and peace and that list is not at all comprehensive. She never knew when the pain would strike and she didn’t know if it would ever end. It was devastating and incredibly discouraging. Doesn’t that sound like what we all experience when we are grieving?
Let’s not forget that grief is the normal, natural result of ALL LOSS. Painful feet is definitely a source of loss and loss produces grief…Feet Grief to be more specific.
The first thing I did that helped Marilyn (fictitious name), was to just acknowledge how difficult her life was feeling on so many levels. We talked about the above losses and affirmed her right to feel all the feelings she was having including being pissed off at God for allowing this to happen to her. After all she was a really good person, a nurse and all she wanted to do was live a good life and help others. Why was it fair for her to be debilitated with this kind of condition?
Sometimes the most powerful thing we can do for a griever is just listen and reflect the emotions we hear them describing. They just want to know that they have a right to feel what they are feeling. And of course they have a right…they are feeling it, that gives them the right. Sometimes the best thing we can do is to just let them talk and cry or scream or laugh hysterically or whatever they need to do.
Stay out of judgment and just know that whatever they are feeling is their way of experiencing grief. And there is no right way, no Five Stages, there is only what each person feels in their personal experience.
In this case, each time we met we talked, we intervened on the energy system with different modalities like Meridian Tapping, Reiki, TAT and several visualization processes. Everything chipped away at pieces of the issues and therefore helped; but I’m not sure anything helped as much as my just listening to her and loving her. I say that to emphasize to you that you don’t have to have any fancy professional skills to be a major help to a griever. Just be a loving, non judging listener.
I saw Marilyn the other day. The darkness around the eyes is gone, so is the gaunt, pained look. She is bright and sparkly again and the pain is very infrequent. She’s on the way back and like all of us who survive grief, she is richer for the experience. She has more depth, more gratitude and much more compassion for friends, family and the patients that she will soon be able to take care of.
In summary, there are all kinds of pain out there and pain is usually part of loss and loss produces grief. Whether it’s Feet Grief or some other kind, the most helpful cure is always love. If the opportunity arises in your life…take the time to be a loving listener. You’ll gain as much as you give.