Forgiveness Archives - Paul E. Wanvig

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Free Yourself by Forgiving! Learn the 7 pillars of true forgiveness

Free Yourself by Forgiving!

Learn the 7 pillars of true forgiveness

The inability to forgive is probably the main cause of many wars, conflicts, divorces, and an overall lack of joy in life. Our lives and the world at large would probably look very different if we had learned the art of forgiveness in elementary school.

In this article, you will learn how and why absolutely everything can be forgiven, as well as the difference between forgiveness and accepting what has happened. Forgiveness is for your own sake—and it can set you free. My advice is for you to become an expert in forgiveness!

Being unable to forgive costs us a lot of energy in our everyday life. We frustrate ourselves and hate people who hurt us, but are these actions really worth giving others the power over our thoughts, feelings, health, and happiness?

One of the most valuable arts a person can learn on the road to good health, joy, and meaning, is the ability to forgive yourself and others in a complete way. Learning to forgive will set us free! “Does this mean I should accept everything that others have done to me?” Of course not! Let’s take a short but intensive dive into the topic to give you a basic understanding of forgiveness. We will explore the tools and inspiration needed to forgive yourself and others from the depths of your heart.

Success with forgiveness

Forgiveness is something everyone must learn, since most people either aren’t born with this ability and didn’t learn it from their parents or while in school.

Forgiveness that has worked can be evidenced by how you interact with the person afterward on a regular basis (more on this later). Trying to forgive others by using pure willpower and discipline is nearly impossible, since there are often strong emotions involved. Gritting your teeth while trying to ignore the problem does not solve it either and often leads to more stress, irritation, and suffering.

Since there are many misconceptions about forgiveness, we need to set the record straight on what forgiveness really is and what it is not. We need to know why it is important to forgive absolutely everything and discuss effective methods for forgiveness.

My experience is that it is easy to get lost while pursuing different methods and techniques without being aware of what forgiveness is and why it is important. We may also lack a correct measuring scale to see if forgiveness has worked or not. We will begin the journey by first illuminating the path and then will come back to the techniques at the end.

A classic case

I am a good example of what happens when one has neither the knowledge nor the tools to be able to forgive.

Before my burnout in 2003 that almost killed me and led me to the Shamanic path, I bore a grudge against a good number of people who had done things to me that I did not like: bosses, coworkers, partners, neighbors, friends, family members, and so on. When someone hurt me, I spent a lot of energy trying to deal with my responding negative thoughts. I had no idea how many months or years of my life I had misused by letting other people have power over how I think and feel. This is what happens when we fail to forgive.

For example, I remember the trauma I had experienced in my first serious relationship. We had been together for almost three years, got engaged, and moved into an apartment that we refurbished. One day, she came home from a trip to Paris and told me that she had found another man and wanted to leave me. This came like a lightning bolt from blue sky. I was left traumatized and bewildered.

I became involved in another relationship some time later, and about three months after my next girlfriend moved out, I received two letters from a law firm. She had sued me for everything I possessed, both personally and with my company. I almost had a cardiac arrest when I read the letters. How could she do this? The attorney expenses alone would have taken all I had. My response and hatred were impeding my life, until I met my mentor and teacher, Master Luebeck, in 2004.

He explained to me that I was not going to be happy with a new partner if I did not learn to forgive my former partners for what they had done to me. "How can you give your heart to another woman when you have built a steel wall around it?" he asked me.

It was then that my introduction to the art of setting myself free through forgiveness began. I must admit that it was hard at first, but it was worth it! Without it, I would not be living such an exceptionally happy life together with my wife Maria today.

Why is forgiveness so important?

Many people carry burdens that consume much of their energy, because we fail to forgive ourselves, other people, or situations we have experienced. In reality, we are the only ones that suffer when we are not able to forgive. You can hate another human being for the actions done, but the hatred will hurt you more.

If you are unable to forgive yourself, it creates an internal sabotage program against your health and happiness in life. If you do not forgive others, you build walls around yourself and your heart, which make you lonely and stressed.

By forgiveness, I do not mean to accept the action of another person—instead, you forgive to set yourself free. The more resentment and hatred you carry, the more resources are lost to no avail.

Using pure willpower is not the way to forgiveness, because strong emotions are involved. Full forgiveness from the depths of our heart is difficult to do with our will and consciousness, since this action has limited access to the subconscious part of us, where most of these experiences are stored.

Forgiveness is first and foremost for yourself

Forgiveness is basically for your own sake and not for others—it's the only way you can make peace for yourself. You give a part of the power over your own life to others by allowing yourself to be hurt because of what others have done to you.

Your negative thoughts and feelings toward those you are carrying a grudge against are influencing and controlling how you think and feel in general, and this also affects your health. The people you are not able to forgive are then influencing your life in a destructive way.

The only one who will suffer because of this is you! By learning to forgive, we take back the power over our lives. We cannot allow those who have hurt us to decide how we think, react, or act toward the other people in our lives and ourselves.

Basis for true personality and spiritual development

Forgiveness heals our hearts while we set ourselves free from the past, so we can live in the present. This also provides a foundation for true spiritual development, which cannot be realized unless we have learned the art of forgiveness, since the heart is the key to our soul and essence.

We let go of a huge burden that prevents us from enjoying sound health, meaning, and joy in life every time we choose to forgive someone. You've probably experienced how a weight is lifted off of your heart after you've forgiven your partner or a friend for something they have done or said to you.

Forgiveness means that love, and not fear, stands in the foreground of your decisions and actions. Through forgiveness, you become reunited with the Creative Force, which is a prerequisite for spiritual enlightenment and spiritual self-realization.

The proof of forgiveness

There are no objective yardsticks that can be used to measure whether forgiveness was successful or not, since our heart, our subconscious, and our soul are very complex. But there is one measuring instrument that is 100 percent certain: your everyday life. When you meet someone you have tried to forgive, you will know whether you have truly forgiven, or whether your forgiveness was merely cosmetic.

When you feel unwell, attacked, stressed, or "small," you still have work to do with forgiveness. Another sign of a lack of forgiveness is when negative feelings and thoughts come up when you think about the person or the situation that led to the hurt. You imagine scenarios in which you meet the person and tell them how much they hurt or offended you. These imaginations are often about you "winning" and walking away from the situation with a sense that you finally got the upper hand, and justice has been served.

Once you've forgiven in a successful way, you can meet the person you have forgiven and exchange a few words with this person without getting stressed or feeling unwell. Of course, you can make a decision not to have more close contact with that person, and when you have forgiven them, you will have made your choice without feeling pressured or pained.

Should I forgive everything?

Many people ask me whether to forgive everything and everyone who has hurt or done something wrong against them. The answer is YES—but it does not mean we should accept and approve of everything others have done to us!

It is important that we distinguish between two different ways of being hurt or injured: objective and subjective.

Objective injuries

Objective injury means you have been wounded in a physical and/or psychological manner, such as by physical violence, bullying, robbery, assault, torture, or deception.

An easy way to determine if you have been objectively injured is by checking reality through describing exactly what has happened with your five senses. In this way, you are using clear language that accurately defines what happened in an objective manner—rather than describing what you feel or think happened.

When you have been hurt or injured in an objective manner, you should not accept what was done! You need to determine which measures must be employed for this to not happen again. In such cases, it is a good idea to get help from a professional, such as a psychologist, therapist, or coach.

But if you stop at this point, you are still carrying on the enormous burden of resentment and hatred toward the person or persons who have harmed you. The only one who suffers from this is you. Forgiveness in such cases means setting yourself free. It does not mean to forgive or accept the deed in itself!

It is about taking action, so that this does not happen again. You forgive to free yourself from the burden you are carrying.

Extreme torture

I find it interesting to study biographies; it helps me put my life and my problems into perspective. A while ago, a documentary was shown here in Germany about a young girl who had been subjected to the most inhumane torture by Nazi Germany’s most famous torture doctor, Josef Mengele. After being subjected to the most grotesque human trials over several years, she managed to escape.

Life afterward was an absolute nightmare. It was impossible to live a normal life, because she couldn’t let go of the horrible experiences. They affected her thoughts, feelings, and actions toward herself and others. When interviewed in the documentary, she was an older woman with gray hair and a gentle but firm voice:

"My life changed a few years ago when I realized that the people who had done me harm still had power over my life and were the main reason that I still had an unbearable existence, even after decades of freedom.

The turning point came when I realized that the only thing they did not have power over was my forgiveness for them. Forgiveness set me truly free. It meant that I could again feel and think normally, live happily together with my partner, and enjoy the smiles and laughter of my grandchildren..."

A similar story is found from the father of logotherapy, Dr. Viktor Frankl. In his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” (1946) he describes what he calls the ‘will to meaning’ and how he managed to survive the Holocaust by saying ‘yes’ to life, even under tragically inhumane conditions.

While in captivity, he had this life-changing insight: "No one outside myself has power over my inner attitude. They can beat me, they can execute my family, but my thoughts belong to me!

I have the power to decide how I interpret this situation! If I, under these extreme conditions, could keep my identity and my character, then other people can do the same! The last human freedom is to choose your own attitude towards any situation.”

The only one who suffers from not wanting to forgive is the one who has been hurt. If people in these terrible life situations are able to forgive, there is hope for everyone. But forgiveness is impossible without first using the free will to make the choice to forgive. When we can do this, we have taken the first step toward setting ourselves free!

Watch Eva Mozes Kor tell her profound story.

I recommend watching the entire video (15 min.) You can find more information about Eva Mozes Kor here.

Interview with Dr. Viktor Frankl - Finding meaning in difficult times

Subjective injuries

To be hurt in a subjective way means that the ego’s values have been hurt. Critical questions have been raised that challenge our ego structures, beliefs, and meaning, and also expose our negative self-image or worldview.

We all naturally try to hide our poor self-image from the outside world. When this is in danger of being revealed, we perceive it as a threat, causing us to feel hurt. Examples include accusations of stupidity, ugliness, laziness, or incompetence. Since the ego is built on fear, it perceives accusations against its value system as an existential threat.

Reactions such as irritation, anxiety, hatred, resentment, envy, and the like occur on this basis. The biggest challenge to starting a forgiveness process when the ego has been wounded is the ego's intense defense mechanism and fear of change. This process may take some time if you're not used to forgiveness or don’t have help through the process.

Misconceptions about forgiveness

Forgiveness does not mean to offer the other cheek—that would be the same as consent, meaning that other people are allowed to do whatever they want with you.

Forgiveness does not mean:

  • Acting as if nothing has happened.
  • Accepting transgression of boundaries.
  • Remaining in the victim role.
  • Being silent about your experiences.
  • Forcing yourself to believe that the person who hurt you is good and that he or she certainly had good reasons for the actions against you.
  • Taking on responsibility for what happened.
  • Assuming that "it had to be so."
  • Thinking that the responsibility is equally with both parties.
  • Believing that "one must learn to deal with this.”
  • Trying to forget the incident and ignore your own feelings (pretend nothing happened).

Many will not forgive others, because they think that forgiveness means having consented to what happened. This is a big misconception that prevents the process of setting themselves and their heart free.

What about revenge?

Revenge has never brought anything good to humankind. It may lead to short-term satisfaction but always end up with suffering in the long term.

My wife Maria worked for several years as a social worker with felonious criminals, including murderers. One of her clients had murdered his daughter’s abuser and had to serve 20 years in prison. She asked him if it was worth it, and he answered, "I lost the best time in my life, I only got to see my daughter on visitations a few times, and my marriage was destroyed. I lost everything that was dear to me for my revenge. "

None of her clients had ever been happy with their revenge. I've never met anyone who has been happy after revenge either. Besides being dissatisfied, revenge always creates a great emotional and karmic load.

Forgiveness of yourself

Being able to forgive yourself is an unconditional prerequisite for fully being able to forgive others. Characteristics and behavior that I reject in myself are also difficult for me to accept in other people. Sometimes it is difficult to understand what we should forgive ourselves for. In such cases, it might be a good idea to forgive yourself for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It is oftentimes difficult to forgive without dealing with feelings of shame, guilt, and anxiety, as well as misleading moral belief patterns. When you forgive yourself, you open your heart in a deep way that allows all types of forgiveness processes to happen more easily. 

The benefits of forgiving

You don’t forgive because of the one who has been hurting you. You forgive because of yourself and your own well-being that has been damaged by hate. In this way, any act of forgiveness being carried out, is an act of love toward yourself. Only when you forgive do you demonstrate that you intend to be gracious to yourself and others.

Here are some of the benefits of forgiveness:

  • Through forgiveness, joy for life returns.
  • Through the heart chakra and its ability to love, it is possible to open up our heart to this world, which in turn is a prerequisite for all forms of enjoyment.
  • Forgiveness counteracts the phenomenon of an inflating ego and its ideas that the only thing that makes us happy is status, money, power, and the like.
  • Forgiveness can be a vital prerequisite for keeping the heart healthy and healing it from disease.
  • Circulation, kidneys, lungs, and the colon can profit from forgiveness (this is referred to in traditional Chinese medicine with the elements of fire, wood, and metal).
  • Forgiveness is a prerequisite for a happy and long-lasting relationship, since there will always be situations where one hurts the other. When forgiveness is not a habit, a prohibitive mountain is built up that can lead to divorce.
  • Whoever forgives themselves opens their subconscious ability to take care of their own well-being, success, and health. Whoever does not forgive themselves will subconsciously attract problems, failures, and disease.
  • Forgiveness is a prerequisite for being able to work optimally together in a team (i.e., read about relationships above).
  • A well-functioning family can only be held together over a long time with the help of forgiveness.

What happens when I do not forgive?

The consequences of not forgiving are extensive. 

  • You suffer. 
  • People around you suffer.
  • Your mental and physical health suffers.
  • Exuberance and joy of life is continually inhibited.
  • Any form of personal and spiritual development related to the heart is blocked.

There are absolutely no excuses not to forgive, except the ego's desire to keep things as they are. The only one who is hurting you in this is yourself!

Is there a shortcut?

I tried for a while to forgive my ex-girlfriends with my consciousness and pure will, with minimal impact. For example, by utilizing the arm test from applied kinesiology, it is possible to determine if you have forgiven another human being completely.

The problem is that forgiveness by sheer willpower is difficult since strong emotions are involved. Walter taught me a unique method for forgiveness: Kanseya Shai'nar heart meditation, which is part of the Three Rays Meditation system. This is an effective method of complete forgiveness from the depths of our heart. As an engineer, I was skeptical, since the method included the use of the Archangels to heal our hearts.

But to my great surprise, it took only three to four weeks with 10 minutes of daily effort before the burdens dropped entirely. It was as if I was a few pounds lighter. Today, when I think of them and what happened, there are no negative feelings coming up. I’m grateful that they were a part of my life for a period of time and for all I've learned afterward. It taught me, among other things, the value of being able to distinguish cause and action from who the person really is, and the value of forgiveness.

These results gave me the motivation to start a systematic forgiveness process toward all those who had hurt me in the past, including my parents. Walter helped me through Phase 1 of the forgiveness process with counseling (see below).

I conducted Phase 2 myself through meditating 10 minutes a day with Kanseya Shai’nar over a longer period of time. The results were indescribable: I felt freer, more balanced, and happier than ever! My life energy grew for each stone released from my heart. Through forgiveness, I set myself free so that I could live my life the way I wanted it, without others involuntarily controlling how I felt, thought, and acted!

Forgiveness is an important topic in my own practice as a spiritual teacher and counselor, where I offer all my clients and students to learn this unique form of meditation (which can be learned in an evening). I'm so amazed by every feedback of forgiveness that I get from my students and the benefits brought to the people and families involved. The value of true forgiveness is gigantic in the quest to create a happy life!

Free yourself with the 7 pillars of forgiveness

My advice to you is to become an expert in forgiveness. In the beginning, it is normal for the process to be a bit slow. Since you're learning something new, it might be a good idea to get some help from an experienced supervisor at first such as a therapist, psychologist, or counselor.

Phase 1: Consciousness and learning

In the first phase, we are clearly defining what happened and finding out what kind of measures need to be used, so the hurt will not happen again. Additionally, we gather lessons learned from what was experienced.

Pillar 1 - Decide to forgive!

Everything starts with making the decision, with your free will, to forgive. This becomes much easier once you understand what forgiveness is and why it is so important to forgive. Once you've done this a few times, it becomes a habit!

Pillar 2 - Objective description!

Note whether the hurt is an objective or subjective harm by describing what happened in a clear and unambiguous manner. Use your five senses. Avoid dream language and words like “I feel,” “think,” “want,” etc.

Pillar 3 - Trifle or serious?

Find out if the problem is about small things or if there is a serious, profound incident. You can handle minor events of everyday life on your own, while serious incidents require the help of a professional.

Pillar 4 - Objective or subjective harm?

- Objective injury: Can the situation be dissolved without further incident? If not, what measures must be initiated to protect you?

- Subjective injury: Was the intent to hurt you on purpose? Is the other person prepared to relate to you in a harmonious way in the future? What negative beliefs about your own self-image were activated? How can these be healed?

Pillar 5 - Give yourself space!

Once you've been hurt, it is important that you take care of yourself as a wounded person. Give the pain space and feel what has happened. Accept that you have been hurt, because only then will you be able to start the process of forgiveness. By ignoring what has happened, we are robbing ourselves of this opportunity.

Pillar 6 - Gather lessons learned.

Use what has happened to help you progress in your life. The experience and knowledge of many negative events in our lives can be used for something positive, such as the opportunities that were present in my own life after the burnout that had almost killed me. It is a good idea to study the biographies of people who have used their biggest traumas as lessons in their life and turned their pain into something positive.

Phase 2: The process of forgiveness

Pillar 7 – Use an effective method for forgiveness that suits your needs.

There are a whole lot of them on the market, such as NLP, systematic constellations following Bert Hellinger’s work, and Kanseya Shai'nar.

The deeper the wound goes, the more it is required for the method to also go into the depths of our heart and soul. There is a limit to what is possible when only working with the consciousness and subconscious.

I always prefer a combination of talk therapy and targeted energy work. Remember that the only evidence of your success is how you, in your everyday life, interact with people you want to forgive.

Want to know more?

Life can be good to live if we choose it ourselves! If you want to learn more about forgiveness and other topics to create a better life, feel free to reach out to me. You can also soon find more free video trainings and articles on this website.

Every conceivable problem can be solved—and oftentimes the solution is sitting right under our nose. I wish you good luck on your path toward good health, joy, happiness, and an enchanting life!

Please contact me if you have suggestions for topics that you would like me to write about. I'm always open to hearing suggestions and answering questions.


Paul E. Wanvig is a Neoteric Shaman, entrepreneur, journalist, author, speaker, bio-hacker, spiritual teacher & encouraging optimist dedicated to helping you and your family live a Fulfilled Life and ending the stress and burnout epidemic by Utilizing the Best of Modern and Ancient Scientific Practices, Medicine and Technology.

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The 3 phases of dealing with grief in a healthy and holistic way

The 3 phases of dealing with grief in a healthy and holistic way

Can anything good come out of death?

Written by: Paul E. Wanvig, published in English: 2. March 2019

First published in Medium Magazine (Norway) 04.2015

​Losing a person who is close to us can be a tremendous strain, which can immediately trigger shock, deep pain, and despair. People that have experienced this often wonder: Is there a way to cope with grief that doesn’t involve endless pain, despair, emptiness, and suffering?

In this article, I will share how my wife, Maria, and I have worked through the shock and grief of losing our son who died four months ago.

I am grateful that our extensive education in holistic medicine, shamanism, and psychology in Germany has given us a healthy and holistic manner to deal with death, as has proved helpful during this difficult period.

But when my father died, I had no idea that dealing with grief in a healthy way was possible.

My father's death

I was a typical daddy’s boy who hung around the legs of my father since I was little. He is one of the few people I've met who never said a bad word about others. He was always there for me when I needed help, cared for me, and he took me to all my sporting activities—and there were many of them.

In November 1996, he was found unconscious in the woods when had he gone for a walk with his dog. It was discovered that several of the blood vessels in and outside his heart were clogged. The only thing that could save him was a bypass operation that ended with a major complication, which left his brain without oxygen for more than three minutes.

When he woke up, we knew something was wrong. The next 12 months before his death, on December 23, 1997, were a true emotional nightmare for me. The man I was dearly fond of was gradually fading away. He changed from being a vigorous athlete to a skinny, aggressive man, who was constantly screaming, and he could not recognise me when I came to visit. Seeing all this shook my life fundamentally. As I became more uncomfortable, it became normal that I dreaded to see him.

On the day before Christmas Eve, the phone rang early in the morning, and an icy feeling came over my body. My heart almost stopped beating, because I sensed that... it was over.

Christmas would never be the same again, and the pain lasted for the next ten years.

I did not want to grieve

At the time, I thought that the church had all the knowledge on grief processing. Since I'm not religious, it would have been unnatural for me to go to a priest to help me deal with the grief, so I chose a different approach.

Instead of searching for other help, I decided to put a lid on my endless despair, loss, and self-reproach that I should have done things better, visited him more often, and said the right words in the last year of his life.

I had to control my emotions, since my job required that I was able to make demanding decisions on a daily basis. For many years, I lived like a machine without much feelings. The only important thing in life was to function.

10 years of pneumonia

High fever, bronchitis, and double-sided pneumonia always came creeping every Christmas for the next ten years. Everything that had to do with Christmas placed pressure on the feelings I had hidden for so long in my emotional pressure cooker.

I dreaded every Christmas and wanted to have nothing to do with Christmas trees, Christmas food, and everything else that we associate with Christmas. I am sure it was not easy being my partner through these years.

Through Christmas 1997, I experienced my first burnout. During Christmas celebrations in 2003, I almost lost my life to my last burnout.

With the help of my dear wife, Maria, and my friend, teacher, and mentor, Walter Luebeck, I was able to break this vicious cycle after ten years in which Christmas was synonymous with illness and suffering.

Grief must be processed

This story is a classic example of how untreated grief and trauma can lead to extensive psychological and psychosomatic consequences, such as pneumonia and depression in my case.

Since then, I have met many people and clients who have experienced similar effects. Untreated grief, trauma, and self-blame can have long-lasting and often extensive consequences on all aspects of our life, such as relationships, work, and health.

When we process grief quickly and comprehensively, our suffering is reduced, and so is the risk of associated diseases.

Here I will share the essence of the experience and knowledge I have gained since 2004 about how it is possible to cope with the loss of someone close to us. "The 3 phases to heal grief in a healthy and holistic way" can, of course, be used for all kinds of grief. Examples include when you lose your job, when you suffer serious illness or disability, if you go through divorce, or when you lose a pet that is close to you.

Grief and taboos

Grief is associated with many taboos and dogmas that control much of the behavior of those who grieve and the society around us. When trying to handle grief differently from what is expected, one can encounter negative criticism and slander. Everything might be heard, from "You can’t do it like that," to "You cannot wear colored clothes at a funeral," and "What is wrong with them; it appears that the deceased was not as important to him/her," or even "Enough with this grieving; it must be possible to get on with life."

If you are tough enough to go outside the rules, customs, and expectations of behavior in the event of death, you should expect an extra burden. However, if you are able to cope with the loss in your way, you will emerge strengthened in record time.

What I share here is based on my personal experience and the experience of many clients who often are amazed that it is possible to go trough one of life's most difficult experiences without suffering and self-blame.

The purpose is not to say that you have done something wrong or try to convince you that I'm right. It's okay to disagree with me, since there are many roads to Rome, some of which I don’t know about, that deal with such a universal topic.

What is death?

As a shaman, I see death as a natural part of the lifecycle of everything that is living—what has a start also has an end. We begin to explore the soul's vision in its present incarnation when our soul is born into a new human body.

When the time comes, we leave our earthly temple and proceed to Bardo (the Kingdom of the transitional state), where we make peace with the life we have lived. The last stop is the Kingdom of Light, where our soul plans its next incarnation on this planet​.

This cycle repeats itself ad infinitum until we decide to end the incarnation cycle ourselves, causing our individuality to cease from existence.

In other words, death is something a shaman interacts with as a natural part of life’s many phases. But why did I experience the loss of my own son so intensively when I, as a shaman, see this as a natural part of life—one that is lived an infinite number of times?

Is grief a disease?

As a shaman, I seek to observe nature and its natural processes when I have questions about how life works. In my quest to find the answer to whether grief is a disease that is man-made, I ended up observing animals living freely in the wild that are not influenced by humans. Here are a few examples:

Canada geese are very emotional beings. A Canadian goose grieves when it loses its partner. They can remove themselves from the group to stay by themselves and swim around in despair, sobbing sorrowfully.

Dolphins often have difficulties in accepting death and the loss of a family member, and they will often stay with the deceased dolphin for days.

Elephants are also extremely emotional beings with close ties to other elephants. These deep ties could lead to intense grief when one they are fond of the one that dies. Elephants are known to shed tears, bury their dead, go into depression, and starve themselves as a reaction to a loss.

Chimpanzees are known to despair when they lose close members of their group. The animals will often cry and refuse to eat food in the mourning period. Gorillas also show sadness and concern for their dead, whom they also sometimes bury.

Grief, not concerning humans, exists in nature. But the big difference between humans and animals in the wild is the length of the grieving process and the animals' capacity to continue living their life without letting what happened affect them over the long term in destructive ways.

Canada geese are monogamous with a partner throughout their lives. When the partner dies, the goose can mourn for several weeks and then seek a new partner, since this is a necessity for survival.

However, when humans do not let go of the pain and suffering even years after losing someone close, this is something that does not exist in nature and must therefore be called a man-made disease. In my opinion, this phenomenon is deserving of a separate medical diagnosis (today, a plethora of different diagnoses are used for symptoms that occur, such as depression and anxiety).

In my personal experience and those of my clients, it is possible to avoid grief as a disease by using "The 3 phases to heal grief in a healthy and holistic way."

The art of being human

We humans are social beings who depend on strong social structures in order to survive. Without this genetic "basic programming," it would have been impossible to develop from the caveman stage to the complex social structures we have in our society today.

When a close bond to one we love has been broken, it feels like a shot across the bow of our existence. The stronger the bond is, the greater the threat feels to our own emotional, physical, and economic existence.

The fact that we react so strongly when we lose someone we love is therefore no wonder. This is an automated response from our genetic survival system. In other words, there is a limit to what intellectual knowledge, experience, and wisdom means at the moment when we lose our loved ones. Our automated genetic system turns on and supersedes all intellectual knowledge, judgment, and experience.

Although Maria and I had thorough knowledge of the processes around death, we could not prevent ourselves from feeling like we had hit rock-bottom after losing our child, since none of us can override our human genetic programming with intellect or experience.

The art is to accept that we are human beings with the need to let out deep sorrow and grief when our existence is threatened. We are not cold machines without feelings that are just here to function—we are humans of flesh and blood who are here to live!

Does this mean that knowledge is not worth anything when we experience losing our loved ones? Definitely not! Knowledge and insight into a holistic way of processing grief will give us the map that allows us to find a safe way out of the complex jungle of emotions, rather than being stuck with frustration, emptiness, pain, and suffering.

The map that shows the way home

It’s helpful to have a model that gives us a clear view and understanding of how we find our way out of the endless jungle of emptiness, pain, and frustration. For us, this has been very helpful in our own mourning process over these past few months.

The map that showed us the way home after the tragedy of losing our son consists of three phases that I call 'The 3 phases to heal grief in a healthy and holistic way," as follows:

Phase 1: Treatment and healing of the shock

Phase 2: The Grieving Process

Phase 3: Forgiveness

Before you go ahead with phases 2 and 3, there is a prerequisite that the shock is treated first. Without this step, it will be extremely difficult to go through a healthy grieving process and to forgive ourselves, our dear one, and other involved parties. Phases 2 and 3 can be done simultaneously.

Phase 1: Treatment and healing of the shock

The shock I experienced when the doctors said there is nothing they could do for our child, and then when Wotan died, had set me completely beside myself. I had never felt so helpless. Feeling how the numbness was creeping over me, I was no longer able to cope with the world around me. It was like stepping into a bubble. I saw only Maria and myself, while the world around me became more blurred.

When we arrived home after Maria was signed out of hospital, I could not feel anything. The numbness was so intense that it was even hard for me to let the tears flow, because I simply could not comprehend what had happened. The world around us did not interest me, and I felt completely helpless, desperate, and completely incapable of knowing what was going to happen next.

These are typical symptoms of shock. When we first experience such shock, there isn’t much we can do by ourselves. In such moments, it feels like every breath and every activity presents a struggle to survive.

Seek help for treating the shock as quickly as possible

The deeper the shock is, the more competent help you need. It's not possible to process the grief and let go of what has been for as long as we are in a state of shock, which can last and give repercussions for years if it is not treated.

People who are locked in a cycle of pain, despair, emptiness, and suffering year after year, because they have lost their loved ones and are unable to let go, are still suffering from the consequences of an untreated shock. It is, in my experience, impossible to completely let go and move on with our lives without that shock being treated correctly and completely.

I have clients who continue to suffer for years after a loss. The first thing I take care of to help them is healing the shock and its repercussions that were never treated adequately. The faster you get help to treat the shock, the better.

The day Maria was discharged from the hospital, our good friend and teacher, Walter Luebeck, had visited us. One of the first things he did was to set up a complete holistic program for shock treatment. Today, we are very thankful we got help to start the treatment so quickly; it took no more than about two weeks before we could feel ourselves and the world around us again.

Who can help you treat the shock?

Severe shock and trauma treatment should always be left to experts who have special training in this, such as emergency psychologists and other specialists. Others may get help from nurses or midwives who are specially trained in helping people through such difficult times. Others get the help of a priest, coach, therapist, or a good friend.

We all have different methods, and the most important thing is that you seek out someone who is competent and whom you can trust. It is important that a shock is treated and healed completely. If you are suffering from loss, I urgently recommend that you consult a qualified therapist for treating shock, since the long-term consequences can be stressful both physically and mentally if care is not rendered in a professional manner.

Phase 2: The Grieving Process

After the shock has settled, the most challenging phase follows: the grieving process.

Grief is often defined as "an expression of loss, sadness, emptiness, betrayal, pain, and/or despair after the death of someone close."

While this expresses how grief feels or is experienced, it does not define what the grieving process is.

Let me share with you my definition of what a grief process is and how this should be done in a healthy and holistic way: "Grief is the process of letting go of what you've lost and what has been, while taking care of memories, experiences, knowledge, and adventures that you had shared together, and then adapting and reorienting your life in the light of the experience, knowledge, wisdom, strength, insight, and opportunities that arise during the process of letting go of what has been."

(Intense grief can also be experienced if we lose our job, become disabled, go through divorce, have children move out, etc.)

After death, our soul normally goes on to the divine Kingdom of Light via Bardo (the Kingdom of the transitional state) for planning its next incarnation. The soul itself does not suffer after death. It is only we who are left behind who often fail to accept that the one we love has left us.

In other words, grief is a subjective and self-centered experience that only has to do with ourselves and not with the one who has left us. The one who dies usually lets go of you and what has been at once (there are, however, exceptions to this).

The harder it is for us to let go of the person who has left us, the harder it is for him or her to release themselves and proceed on the way to their forefathers.

In other words: With our inability to let our loved ones be allowed to proceed on their path, we can prevent them from finding their way to the Kingdom of Light. The soul can possibly get stuck in Bardo, because he or she feels sorry for us and wants to stay close to comfort us. Our inability or unwillingness to let go can therefore have major consequences not only for ourselves, but also for those we love.

Gaining insight into what death really is

An important foundation for a healthy and holistic grief process of letting go is to acquire a good understanding of what death really is, since there are many opinions about this that are often based on fear. The more fear is involved, the harder it is to let go.

After the shock is integrated and processed, I give my clients access to my video seminar about death and reincarnation, which shows what happens after death from a shaman’s point of view. I then discuss the topics that are addressed with them. My experience shows that it is much easier to let go of their loved ones when they know what really happens after death.

If you are reading this article to help deal with your loss, I recommend that you contact a competent and experienced shaman or priest to gain insights into this topic. It will considerably quicken the process of letting go of the one you have lost.

The 4 steps for a healthy approach to the grieving process

A healthy approach to the grieving process consists of four steps. Here I also share a few examples of what Maria and I experienced after we lost our son:

Step 1 - Accept

Accept that the one we love has departed and that he or she is allowed to go on without us. Take deliberate actions (e.g. through different type of rituals) showing that you have accepted that your loved one has passed on and that you want to make peace with what has happened.

For Maria and me, it was not so difficult to accept that Wotan should be allowed to continue his way without us. The trigger for this was the shamanistic funeral ritual that Walter held for us at the oak tree where Wotan was buried. There, we opened up our hearts and consciously let him go. On one hand, we wanted to keep him here, but it would have been a self-centered act that would have made it difficult for him to move on. We showed real love from the depths of our hearts by consciously saying to him, during the ritual, that we let go completely and wish him well on his journey. The peace that came over us at that moment is one of the most beautiful experiences I've ever had.

Step 2 - Remember

Remember and dwell on everything valuable that the deceased has given your life as long as you've known each other. For this step, you may want to use a diary in which you can document all of the good things.

Although Wotan was not with us so many months, he was so valuable to us.
By touching our hearts in a way that we have never experienced before, he helped us to understand the value of life in a deeper way while everyday issues were put in an entirely different perspective. Having lost a child, we see the world with different eyes. What were previously problems are now insignificant details in a landscape where meaning, depth, and joy of life are at the center. This is perceived as if we are becoming much more authentic compared to daily life itself. Wotan also brought Maria and me so much closer.

During this period, I acquired extensive and valuable knowledge in the treatment of multi-resistant bacteria with natural active substances, which gave amazing results even when the strongest antibiotics did not work. This period of time also led me into an exciting path studying how the best holistic medical clinics in the world are treating and curing cancer and other chronic diseases in a holistic manner. Without Maria being so ill at the hospital, I probably would not have opened up my eyes to this exciting medical universe.

Step 3 - Adapt

Adaptation, and, if necessary, reorientation of your own life based on all the experience, knowledge, wisdom, strength, insight, and opportunities that you have become aware of through the grieving process.

What we have experienced will help shape our lives and our relationship with each other. The wisdom, knowledge, and power that we have been given by Wotan's death have changed a part of how we relate to each other, our students, clients, and people around us. By today, I have even greater acceptance that people around me may use their free will to make the choices they want, even if it means years of suffering and problems. Before, I took it somewhat personally when one of my clients or friends did not want to do even the simplest and basic things for recovery from, for example, cancer. Today, I understand that love also means that you must let others walk their own path and accept the choices they make with their free will, even if this results in a lot of pain and suffering.

Step 4 - Forgive

Forgiveness of yourself, the one you've lost and other parties involved (this step continues on in Phase 3).

If you are stuck on one or more of the steps, it may be a good idea to seek the help of someone with experience. In addition to good conversations and therapy, methods of energy medicine (such as flower essences, homeopathy, acupuncture, various forms of healing, etc.) could be helpful.

Phase 3: Forgiveness

In most cases, a healthy and holistic approach to the grieving process and forgiveness go hand in hand. Completing the grieving process without first having forgiven yourself, the one you've lost, and any other parties involved is difficult. Because forgiveness is a complex subject, it becomes a separate phase in the recipe for a healthy and holistic healing of grief.

You can get a basic introduction on the topic of forgiveness in the article "Free yourself by forgiving! Learn the 7 pillars of true forgiveness."

One of the first things that struck us after the shock subsided was self-blame. What could we have done better? What if we had gone to the hospital earlier? What if we had gathered more knowledge about problems that can occur during pregnancy in advance? What if we had eaten healthier or taken other supplements? What if, what if, what if...

The feeling of self-reproach was overwhelming at first. It did not help much that doctors, midwives, gynecologists, all the other experts, and Walter said that whatever we would have done would not have changed the outcome.

Self-incrimination can only be cured by forgiving yourself, because you did the best you could. It can be difficult to forgive only by our will, and often a lot more insight into the topic of forgiveness is needed until we manage to let go.

It is also important that you forgive the one who has abandoned you. It may be hard to accept that our loved ones have left us here alone. Additionally, forgiving all others involved (such as family and doctors) is a good step to take.

My favorite method for forgiveness is Kanseya Shai'nar, which is a special meditation method for forgiveness from the depths of the heart. By using this method, the self-reproach vanished over the next few weeks.

Can anything good come out of death?

This is a sensitive issue that can be easily misunderstood. To say to someone who has lost a loved one that something good can come out of it could be perceived as cold and insensitive.

But my life experience tells me that even the greatest trauma in my life has always had a gigantic potential of opportunities that have been there for me in retrospect. At the moment the trauma occurs, and in the subsequent weeks/months afterward, it is, of course, difficult to see a positive outlook, because the shock is blocking our ability to see and think clearly. But when the worst of the storm has settled, it is possible to see the landscape that opens up—if we want to see it.

The question is whether we are willing to open ourselves up to the good that can come out of a situation that may seem hopeless at the time.

One of my basic philosophies is that I live my own life out of the premise that there is a solution to every thinkable problem. The larger the problem is, the greater are the opportunities waiting for us on the other side—if we are willing to accept them—which then is a conscious choice we make.

The three most extensive traumas I experienced so far in my life have given me more strength, wisdom, and happiness in retrospect than anything else.

The first trauma was losing my father. Although the first few years afterward were filled with emptiness and pain, he had showed me the way to the person I am today.

The second trauma was a burnout that almost killed me in 2003, one that would change my life completely and build the foundation for the wonderful life I'm allowed to live today.

The third trauma was losing my son, Wotan. Although it happened only four months ago, I have an extreme appreciation for the time he was with us and the possibilities he opened up in our lives.

To write these words to you has been a healing process in itself for me. I hope my experience will be of benefit to you and yours. I appreciate hearing from you with your thoughts and experiences about the grief and mourning process.


Paul E. Wanvig is a Neoteric Shaman, entrepreneur, journalist, author, speaker, bio-hacker, spiritual teacher & encouraging optimist dedicated to helping you and your family live a Fulfilled Life and ending the stress and burnout epidemic by Utilizing the Best of Modern and Ancient Scientific Practices, Medicine and Technology.

Sign up to get VIP access to his upcoming eBooks, online video trainings and valuable weekly health tips for FREE!

The shock of losing our own child – Is there a meaning behind everything?

The shock of losing our own child

Is there a meaning behind everything?

Written by: Paul E. Wanvig, published in English: 1. March 2019

First published in Medium Magazine (Norway) 03.2015

This was supposed to be my year. Everything was laid out and ready for the most productive, exciting, and meaningful year of my life so far. I had planned on starting the New Year by announcing on my new English-language blog the wonderful news that I was going to be a father. This was a deep desire for both Maria and me, one that would finally become a reality.

On Christmas Eve 2014, we passed the critical time for pregnancy: the 12th week. We could relax more now, since the probability of losing a child after this time is minimal.

What happened two weeks later is the biggest trauma I have ever experienced and probably the worst fear of all parents—losing your own child.

Why am I sharing this with you?

The reason I am sharing my story with you is mostly for my own benefit. For many years, I've shared my experiences and recipes for solving mostly any problem that has arisen in my life with my Norwegian readers.

This time there is no step-by-step solution that provides the recipe for how such a trauma can be healed in general—for I do not believe that one exists. But maybe my story can give hope to others who are experiencing the tragedy of losing their own child or inspire someone who has family members or friends that have lost a child.

Back in 1997, my father passed away and I did the opposite of what I am doing now. I had suppressed what had happened, which led to severe physical and mental problems a few years later. By sharing my loss tragedy with you now, I am taking important steps forward in my own healing process. Hopefully some good will come out of this, both for you and for me.

Massive bleeding

The morning of January 5th 2015, I saw Maria looking chalk pale with tears in her eyes. "I have massive bleeding and I'm afraid for our child." My heart stopped almost completely, and it felt like cold knives began stabbing my back.

The gynecologist urged us to come in at once, and the ultrasound image showed that everything was in order. "Such things are not abnormal," she said to calm us down. "If this gets worse, I recommend that you go to the hospital. As it looks now, there is nothing differently the hospital can do either."

When we returned home, everything went back to normal. We breathed sighs of relief, believing that everything would be alright.

What happened over the next five days, I think only Maria can describe. She suffered intensive pain that came and went continuously. The feeling of helplessness came over me as I watched my beloved wife suffer without being able to do anything to help her. Today I understand this better—the intense distress was labor pain.

The emergency room shock

On Friday, January 9th, we went to the emergency room, because the pain was unbearable. The shock that confronted us there is hard to describe. The ultrasound image showed that the child had slipped down into the birth canal. The chief physician and the other doctors had never seen anything like it before: a strong and vital child in the birth canal at this time in pregnancy.

For Maria and me, this was the biggest shock of our lives. The doctors said there was nothing they could do, they could only hope that the child would die quickly and get out so that Maria could be free from pain.

These words were inconceivable to us. We had so much looked forward to the birth of our child, and now we hear that they hope our baby dies quickly.


I had never felt so helpless before. The feeling of numbness came over me, and I was no longer able to perceive the world around me. It was like stepping into a timeless bubble. I saw only Maria and me, while the world around us became more and more blurred. The shock began to take over, and it was good I did not know that this was only the beginning.

Survival instinct

All thoughts and reactions for self-preservation began in me, and survival instinct took over my actions. What could I do for the baby to get back into its proper place? What could I do to help Maria? What if my worst nightmare would come true that I also was losing Maria—what would I do then?

Thoughts rushed chaotically through my head. Stress hormones were pumped intensively into my blood stream, and all of me was on alert.

I've never been so glad that I've worked with meditation for so many years; this made me able to think clearly instead of flipping out.

My job

My task was to help Maria in the best possible ways, both mentally and physically. Although it was impossible for me to understand what she was going through in this situation, I could help by being present and making sure she had everything she needed at any time.

Over the next six days, I shuttled between hospital and home. I prepared organic food for Maria, brought clean clothes, and took care of our dog, Emilia.

On the one hand, it was good that I had something to do all the time, but it was incredibly difficult, since I had no one to take care of me. The nights were the hardest to deal with, since I had to be home to take care of Emilia. Lying awake without knowing how it was going with my beloved wife was very difficult.

The nightmare becomes a reality

On Saturday, January 10th at 8:20 a.m., my cellphone rang. My blood froze and tears ran down my cheeks when Maria told me that the child had come and that she was going to have an emergency operation. It's hard to describe what was happening inside me then, but I remember my intense fear that something bad would happen to Maria.

Emergency operation

I had never before dressed so quickly. I arrived at the hospital just in time to accompany Maria down to the surgery department where they normally take in emergencies that come by ambulance or helicopter.

Nobody explained to me what happened and why she needed surgery. The waiting time and uncertainty were like torture. Every minute felt like an hour. After 90 minutes, a nurse came out and was about to pass me without saying a word. I stopped her and asked if she knew how the surgery went. "Everything seems to have gone well, and she is lying in the recovery room now", she said briefly before moving on.

A while later, the surgeon informed me that everything had gone perfectly well and that he hoped he would never see us again. The pressure was relieved and tears flowed when I took Maria’s hand as she was still groggy from the anesthetic.


One of the consequences of the operation was a major infection that the doctors were not able to control even with the strongest intravenous antibiotics. "We have not seen this before," we heard again. "We'll try another type of antibiotic and see if it works better."

The next day, the infection markers increased; this indicated that the infection had become worse. The fear that multiresistant hospital bacteria had gained a foothold in Maria was intense.

Our first son

Our son, Wotan Dompierre Wanvig, was born at 8:00 am on Saturday, January 10th, 2015. He died in Mary's hands at 8:01 a.m.

To see my own son lying dead in my hands was heartbreaking. He fit into my hand, being only 12 cm. long, a miracle with hands, feet, fingers, toes, and nails that never came to say the words “dad” or “mom.”

The priest and the undertaker

On Sunday, we were visited by the hospital's priest. Although we have no relationship with religion, it was incredibly good to talk with someone who was an expert at helping people in our situation. She explained to us all the details about what was going to happen, including that since the child had come so far in its development, it was mandatory according to German law to have a funeral.

The next day, the undertaker came. How to talk about the experience of discussing the funeral of my own child with a priest and the undertaker is something I’m not able to fathom. On one hand you are glad that someone is available to tell you what's going to happen so that uncertainty goes away, but on the other hand, you want to escape everything and hope that it is all a bad dream.

The desire to suppress

The desire to suppress what had happened was overwhelming. However, both the priest and everyone else we've talked to—both experts and those who had experienced this themselves—said that suppressing our feelings is the worst thing we can do.

We heard many stories about how things had gone for parents who had repressed the grief of losing their child. Disease, relationship problems, and years of suffering were some of the aftereffects.

Everyone said it was important that we gave space in our family to Wotan as our first child and that we gave him a name and a burial.

An unbearable shock

Maria was allowed to leave the hospital five days later. The shock was overwhelming, and neither of us was able to think clearly about the days to come. The only things our world consisted of were tears, numbness, and deep pain.

The same day she was discharged, we got a visit from our dear friend, teacher, and mentor Walter Lübeck, who helped us understand what had happened, why it happened, and how the road ahead looked.

Walter gave us several essences and homeopathic remedies that would help us process the shock and trauma. Starting with this at an early stage was helpful, in addition to our talks to professionals and others who had experienced the same trauma.

Finding the right place for the burial

The next thing we had to do was find the right place to bury our son. We wanted to have a shamanic funeral ritual in a natural grave by a tree in the forest. In Germany, we have special “peace forests” (e.g., Friedwald) where we could buy a tree and bury our son there.

We eventually found a suitable location: a great oak tree overlooking a small lake and a small river in a beautiful forest. That was the right place, and Maria and I also will be buried there when the time comes.

The funeral

On Thursday, January 29th, we buried Wotan at the root of an oak tree with a beautiful shamanistic funeral ritual led by our good friend Walter. As I write these words, tears and sadness overwhelm me; it was only five days ago that I stood there with a shovel and buried my son with my own hands. What I experienced is something I cannot put into words.

I find it all still incomprehensible and surreal, and it will certainly take a few weeks before I come back to myself.

The grief

After the worst shock had subsided, deep grief came creeping over us. For me, grief is a process of letting go of what has been and finding a new path for my life.

How we humans mourn is personal, but I'm convinced that we can choose to suffer or go through the process filled with love and forgiveness. I know people who have lost a loved one, and the rest of their lives had been destroyed with suffering. But I also know many people who have actively chosen the other way—the path of love and forgiveness.

No one who dies would wish that his or her family should suffer because of it. The soul passes on to the Kingdom of Light after death, where it plans its next incarnation. In other words, prolonged suffering is only hurting ourselves and our nearest yet has absolutely no influence on the soul that has passed on.

A wise man once said the following to me: "Death is a part of being human that we need to learn to deal with. Everyone has a choice: We can unconsciously go through this guided by our inner desire of suffering and self-destruction, or we can choose to consciously go through a grieving process by letting go of what has been and take with us the good that this human has given us in the time that it was with us."

Grief is something that takes time. It is now a little over three weeks since we lost Wotan as I continue to write about my experience, and I'm not nearly finished with my grief. But what is certain is that both Maria and I know that something good will come out of this eventually, as it has always done after the major disasters earlier in our lives. We just do not know yet quite what that ‘good’ might be.

How should I support you?

How should I relate to someone who is experiencing a trauma like this? I do not think there is a definitive answer to this, since we all have different needs. The best option is probably to ask the person directly how you can give support in the best way possible.

Flowers or other gifts are what I personally need least. I would rather not have to tell the story over and over again—it's one of the reasons why I'm writing these words. Then everyone is informed, and those who want to support me know what I need.

“I think of you.”

The most supportive thing for me is to hear, "I'm thinking of you," or "You are in my thoughts." Simple gestures can let me know that I am not alone. I had no idea of the strength of these words until now.

To me, this is like tiny lights that illuminate the darkness. The more of these small beacons of support, heartfelt wishes, and similar comments that reach my blog or inbox, the more the darkness is dispelled. The effect on me is outstanding, and I am so grateful for all the supportive words and actions that are coming our way—they mean so much!

What had we done wrong?

‘What had we done wrong?’ was one of the first things we discussed. Was this our fault? Could we have done anything differently? Should we have known better?

It’s probably normal that we tried to find the cause in ourselves to be able to find the answer to why this happened. The reality is that all parents who have gone through the same have done their best, including us. Maybe there are some things that could have been done differently if we would have had more knowledge. Maybe there are things we should have done differently. Maybe we should have gone to the hospital earlier, although the doctors said that it would not have changed anything. Maybe we should have informed physicians and specialists we work with here in Germany at an earlier time. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

What has happened has happened, and there is absolutely nothing we can do to reverse this now. Torturing ourselves with reproaches that we should have done differently or somehow have made better decisions helps nobody; it only destroys us.

As shamans, we are trained to listen to nature, which is much more wise and complex than a human can ever comprehend. This is what nature chose at this time. There is nothing we need to understand right now; it is something that we just have to accept. But this does not mean that we should not learn from what has happened. Learning acceptance is probably the most important thing we can take with us from any crisis.


Forgiveness is a very important part of the mourning process if you choose to walk the path of love. Without forgiveness, the suffering may continue indefinitely.

For Maria and me, actively forgiving ourselves was the most important thing for us to do in order to release the enormous burden hanging on our shoulders. This will also set us free.

The problem with forgiveness is that it does not work very well with the use of willpower. We must have a deeper approach in order to reach the hidden programs of the subconscious and the depths of our hearts.

I have written a longer article on the subject of forgiveness and how this can be done to set us free. 

Our relationship

In such a situation, it is easy for conflicts to arise in the relationship if one fails to communicate with the other about what has happened. We know couples who have lost children and who would not talk to each other about it. After twenty years, they still have problems in their relationships because of what they had never put into words.

Thank goodness that Maria and I are talking about what has happened. Neither of us runs away, even though it is difficult. When we manage to ride out a storm like this, I think it would take a lot to ruin our relationship.

Is there a meaning to everything?

Is there a higher meaning behind losing our own child? This is difficult to answer, since we comprehend only a tiny slice of the reality we live in. Also, the answer always depends on the point of view from which the situation is observed. From the Creative Force (God) point of view, a spiritually enlightened and self-realized point of view, or from a human point of view, everyone gives different answers.

A better question to ask is what we will make of what is happening to us. How do we create meaning out of what has happened? This is entirely our own choice. We can choose to be the victim and continue suffering, or we can use what has happened—to learn from it and grow.

How we can turn this tragedy into something good for others and ourselves is, of course, unclear to Maria and me at present. Even if we perceive the contours of our reality, we must allow ourselves to grieve, as humans of flesh and blood, with the feelings that fill our lives right now.

What is certain is that we have chosen to incarnate into this world as human beings with all the joys and sorrows that this existence has to offer. Escaping from what is difficult in our lives is not an option.

In a few weeks, we will see the world and ourselves with other eyes. Until then, we are grateful from the depths of our hearts for all those who care about us.


Paul E. Wanvig is a Neoteric Shaman, entrepreneur, journalist, author, speaker, bio-hacker, spiritual teacher & encouraging optimist dedicated to helping you and your family live a Fulfilled Life and ending the stress and burnout epidemic by Utilizing the Best of Modern and Ancient Scientific Practices, Medicine and Technology.

Sign up to get VIP access to his upcoming eBooks, online video trainings and valuable weekly health tips for FREE!