In You Can Heal Your Heart, self-empowerment luminary Louise Hay and renowned grief and loss expert David Kessler have come together to start a conversation on healing after loss. Louise and David discuss the emotions and thoughts that occur when a relationship leaves you broken-hearted, a marriage ends in divorce, or a loved one dies. They will also help you develop great self-awareness and compassion, providing you with the courage and tools to face many other types of losses and challenges, such as saying good-bye to a beloved pet, losing your job, coming to terms with a life-threatening illness or disease, and much more.
With a perfect blend of Louise's affirmations and teachings on the power of your thoughts and David's many years of working with those in grief, this remarkable book will inspire an extraordinary new way of thinking, bringing profound love and joy into your life. You will not only learn how to harness the power of your grief to help you grow and find peace, but you will also discover that, yes, you can heal your heart.
Hardcover | 978-1-4019-4387-5 | List Price: $19.95
Unabridged Audio Book, 4-CD Set | 978-1-4019-4575-6 | List Price: $23.95
We wrote this book to explore how we grieve and find healing after enduring any type of loss, such as a breakup, divorce, or death. Grieving is challenging, but it is our thoughts that often add suffering to our pain. We hope that this book will expand your awareness and thinking around loss to include love and understanding. Our intention is for you to feel your grief fully without getting stuck in the sorrow and suffering.
Grief is not a condition to be cured but a natural part of
life. Spirit does not know loss; it knows that every story begins
and every story ends, yet love is eternal. Our hope is that the
words on these pages offer you comfort and peace throughout
your journey. No book, however, should be used to replace
professional help if that is needed. We wish you much love
— Louise and David
I've been working in the field of grief for most of my
life. I've been fortunate to write four books on the subject,
including two with the legendary Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, the
renowned psychiatrist and author of the groundbreaking
book On Death and Dying. During my lectures, I'm continually
asked, "Does this grief work apply to divorce?" Even at
parties, the newly single person will find me and ask, "Can
you help me? I've just gone through a breakup and heard
you know a lot about grief."
It's always a reminder that the work I do applies to the ending of relationships and marriages as well as the end of life. The truth is that loss is loss and grief is grief, no matter what it's about or what caused it. I can't count the times I've heard people talk harshly about themselves during a breakup or when a marriage has ended, and I've often thought back to my friend Louise Hay, author of the international bestseller You Can Heal Your Life, who always says, "Pay attention to your thinking."
A broken heart is also an open heart. Whatever the
circumstances, when you love someone and your time
together ends, you will naturally feel pain. The pain
of losing a person you love is part of life, part of this
journey, but suffering doesn't have to be. Although it's
natural to forget your power after you lose a loved one,
the truth is that after a breakup, divorce, or death, there
remains an ability within you to create a new reality.
Let's be clear here: We're asking you to change your thinking after a loss occurs—not to avoid the pain of grief, but to keep moving through it. We want your thoughts to live in a place where you remember your loved one only with love, not with sadness or regret. Even after the worst breakup, the meanest divorce, and the most tragic death, it is possible to achieve this over time. That doesn't mean that you deny or run away from the pain. Instead, you let yourself experience it and then allow a new life to unfold—one where you hold the love dear, not the sorrow.
Here's where our real work begins. There are three main areas we'll be focusing on throughout this book:
If you're reading this book, then you're most likely
hurting—and that's something we don't wish to take
away from you. But this time can be a vital window, not
only to heal your pain, but, if you feel each of your feelings
fully, to also begin to release it. One of the biggest
problems is that you might try to push aside or ignore
your feelings. You judge them as wrong, too little, or too
much. You carry a lot of bottled-up emotions, and anger
is often one that is suppressed. In order for it to heal,
however, it must be released.
We're not speaking only about anger associated with death, but about anytime we feel anger. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, the renowned grief expert who identified the Five Stages of Grief, said that we could feel anger, let it pass through us, and be done with it in a few minutes. She went on to say that any anger we feel over 15 minutes is old anger.
Of course anger is only one of the emotions that arise. When a relationship ends, when divorce happens, and even when a death occurs, we are left with so many feelings. Feeling them is the first step toward healing.
Your loss will also be a window into your old wounds,
and like it or not, they are going to come forth. Some
of them you may not be aware of. When you're going
through a breakup, for example, you may think, I knew
he wasn't going to stay. In a divorce, you may believe that
I don't deserve love, or when a loved one dies that, Bad
things always happen to me. These are negative thoughts
that stretch beyond the current loss.
It's certainly helpful to take advantage of grief as a time to reflect on the past with tenderness—but to relive it over and over is painful and nonproductive. That's what you tend to do when you just go back without an intention of healing.
Where did these negative thoughts originate? The answer is that they originated in the past and weren't healed with love. Together we'll shine a light on those old wounds and negative thought processes and begin the healing process with love and compassion.
When you grieve any loss, you apply your current
thinking, which, at its best, is often distorted. What
do we mean by that? It is when your beliefs are colored
by the wounds of childhood and shaped by hurts from
past relationships. Distorted thinking is often molded
by your parents and others in your life who did the best
they could, but also carried their own distorted thinking
from their childhoods. All of this worked together
to form the current self-talk in your mind as you think
your same old thoughts over and over again. Then you
bring this old thinking, the negative self-talk, to your
This is why human beings so often talk to ourselves without love and tenderness after we've just lost someone we cared for deeply. We blame ourselves, we throw a pity party, and we even feel that we deserve the pain we're now experiencing. How do we break the cycle? Read on to learn about the importance of positive affirmations and their powerful effect on distorted thinking.
Affirmations are statements that reinforce a positive
or negative belief. We want to raise your awareness of
the negative ones you might use and gently invite new,
positive ones into your life. In your thinking, you're always
affirming something. Unfortunately, when your
thinking is distorted, you're usually repeating negative
We're going to lovingly introduce positive affirmations to your grief and your life. These positive statements may feel untrue when you first use them. Let them in anyway. You may be afraid that we're trying to take away your grief or diminish it in some way, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Your grief is yours to feel, but positive affirmations can take away your suffering as well as heal some of your old pain and negative thought patterns. Your negative affirmations are untrue, yet you have no trouble feeling those. Many people unconsciously repeat negative affirmations, being so cruel to themselves when they're hurting. One of the main goals we hope to accomplish in this book is finding a way to change that repetitive negative thinking for good.
As you read the positive affirmations in the upcoming chapters, be sure to apply them to your own experiences. Apply them to your thought patterns—your beliefs, how you view the world—using them to undo your limited, negative thinking. Some affirmations may resolve your old wounds from the past to help you process your current ones so that you can finally fully heal with love.
We're sure you know how to end a relationship. You
know how to end a marriage. You even know how to end
a life. But do you know how to complete a relationship
or a marriage? Do you know how to complete a life? This
is another aspect we hope to teach you as we journey
together. There are unexpected gifts to be found in life
These may seem like new concepts to you, but the truth is that not all relationships are meant to last. Some will last a month, others a year, some a decade. You'll feel pain when you believe the one-year relationship should have lasted five years. You feel pain because you think the 10-year relationship should have lasted 25 years. The same is true of marriages. Can you think of a marriage as a success when it ends in divorce? Well, it can be. It can be perfect for the experience that you and your spouse needed.
Even when life ends, there is a rhythm. It is sad, of course, because you want more time with your loved one—that's only natural. But there are only two requirements for a complete life: a birth day and a death day. That's it. We all arrive in the middle of the movie, and we leave in the middle of it. We want to hold on to the connection to our loved one who died; we want to keep our memories . . . and we can eventually release the pain.
Our ultimate wish is for you to discover that no matter what you're facing, you can heal your heart. You deserve a loving, peaceful life. Let's begin this healing process together.
— Louise and David