Our logical, analytical mind demands answers to tough questions. Chief among them is often “Why did this tragedy have to happen?”

When our pain is great and our loss profound, we go to our mind hoping to find comfort in answers that are not forthcoming. We might be able to answer a question in practical terms, such as, “He died because of a car accident,” but we don’t have an answer to the more cosmic “Why?” Will we ever get an answer? Do we need answers?

Our mind does need answers–at least it always wants to seek them out. But I believe that our spirit, or if you will–our higher self–does not need answers. Our higher self rests in those qualities such as love, gratitude, and faith. Sometimes with the passage of time we see evidence of some answers emerging.

But often, especially when the loss is tragic or horribly unfair, none of the “good that comes from bad” is a good enough reason for why the bad had to happen. I used to think that comments like, “It’s a mystery,” was lazy reasoning. But that was my mind talking, not my spirit. Fear-based coping strategies usually involve some sort of fighting, blaming, or withdrawing. Higher-self coping strategies involve integrating gratitude with loss, forgiveness with anger, trust with doubt.

A good place to begin accessing your higher self is to practice emotionally accepting your current reality that cannot be changed instead of resisting that reality. The more acceptance, the calmer the calmer the mind. The calmer the mind, the easier it is for higher-level spiritual guidance and insight to be detected.

Paul Coleman

Dr. Paul Coleman is a psychologist in private practice for over thirty years and the author of a dozen books including his most recent “Finding Peace When Your Heart Is in Pieces” (ADAMS MEDIA, 2014). He has appeared on national television shows such as “OPRAH” and “TODAY” and has appeared on dozens of national radio shows including NPR and WABC. Dr. Coleman specializes in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as well helping people through grief and other life transitions. For fun, Paul enjoys acting and has appeared in over forty community theater stage productions. He recently appeared as a grief counselor in the HBO series “I Know This Much Is True” starring Mark Ruffalo. He has written several stage plays—as yet unpublished—but has had readings of his plays performed in New York City and Austin, Texas. Paul and his wife have three children and four grandchildren.

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