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Grief as a Portal with Dr. Laura Berman, Ep. 4

World-Renowned Sex, Love & Relationship Therapist | USA Today Columnist NY Times Best Selling Author | Award-Winning Syndicated Radio Host

Intro to Episode

Dr. Berman shares her harrowing experience of losing her 16-year-old son to accidental fentanyl poisoning, shedding light on the alarming realities of drug-related tragedies in today’s society. Through her candid account, Dr. Berman reveals how facing this adversity led her to a path of deep healing and spiritual awakening, transforming her perspective on life, relationships, and the power of authenticity. This conversation delves into the profound impact of grief, the importance of embracing one’s pain, and the journey towards reclaiming joy amidst profound loss.

March 13, 2024

Interview Summary

Peggy O’Neill, the host of the podcast “From Adversity to Awakening,” and Dr. Laura Berman, a renowned sex, love, and relationship therapist sit down for a conversation. Peggy introduces Laura, highlighting her impressive credentials and the adversity she has overcome. Laura then shares the tragic story of losing her 16-year-old son, Sammy, to accidental fentanyl poisoning. She describes how she froze for a year after his death, but eventually embarked on a journey of healing, guided by a profound metaphysical experience.

Laura emphasizes the importance of fully experiencing and processing one’s pain, noting that avoiding it can lead to physical and emotional ailments. She describes how connecting with her body and allowing herself to feel deeply transformed her, leading to a stronger connection with her son in the spiritual realm. Laura discusses the impact of her healing journey on her relationships, particularly with her husband, acknowledging that they have both changed and committed to growing together.

Throughout the conversation, Laura emphasizes the importance of authenticity, bravery, and connection with one’s body in the healing process. She encourages listeners to embrace their pain as a path to freedom and deeper joy, and to approach relationships with openness and acceptance of change.

~ Gifts from Peggy ~

Connect with Dr. Laura

Bio

Dr. Laura Berman is a world-renowned sex, love and relationship therapist. She earned two Masters Degrees and a PhD from New York University, and has spent the past 30 years devoting her career to helping others learn to love and be loved better from a mind, body and spiritual perspective.

Dr. Berman is a columnist for USA Today. She is also a New York Times best selling author who has written nine books, and is an award-winning syndicated radio host. She currently hosts the popular love and sex advice podcast, The Language of Love.

In addition to her regular appearances in daytime and news media, Dr Berman was also the sex, love and relationship expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show and has starred in four television series, including two on the OWN Network and one on Showtime.

Video Transcript

*This transcript was generated automatically. Its accuracy may vary.

SPEAKER_01: Hi everybody, welcome to another episode of From Adversity to Awakening. I’m your host, Peggy O’Neill, and today I have an amazing guest for you. Her name is Dr. Laura Berman, and she is going to blow your mind with all of her extra cheese of overcoming her adversity. And welcome Laura. Thank you. Yeah, nice to have you. So I’ll just read a little introduction and you’re going to find out what an awesome person we have with us today, what amazing legacy she has already left. So Dr. Laura Berman is a world-renowned sex, love, and relationship therapist. She earned two masters, not just one, but two, and a PhD from New York University, and has spent the past 30 years devoting her career to helping others learn to love and be loved better from a mind, body, and spiritual perspective. Dr. Berman is a calmness for USA Today. And it’s also a New York Times bestselling author who has written nine books and is an award-winning syndicated radio host. Oh my god, who is this person? She currently hosts the popular love and sex advice podcast to an end, you guys, called The Language of Love. In addition to her regular appearances in daytime and news media, Dr. Berman was also the sex. Okay, get ready for this. You’re like, I believe this. She’s also the sex-loving relationship expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and has started in four television series, including two on the own network and on Showtime. Okay, it’s Showtime. All right, Laura, I can’t wait to hear all about your story and how, I mean, you’ve obviously done in a phenomenal amount of work. You’re obviously very devoted to helping people into completing what’s in front of you. And I just want to commend you for having achieved so much in your life. It’s amazing. Thank you. Yeah. So why don’t we start by having you tell us a little bit about your greatest adversity and how that was for you, how it changed your life like that?

SPEAKER_00: Yeah, I mean, I think we’ve, like many people, I’ve had a lot of blessings and I’ve had a lot of adversity. But if I had to choose, and I don’t think it’s a hard choice, the biggest adversity I faced was three years ago when I walked into my 16-year-old middle son’s room and found him lifeless on the floor and lost him to accidental fentanyl poisoning. He was basically murdered by a drug dealer who found him on Snapchat. I didn’t even know, I thought you had to know a drug dealer or know someone who knew a drug dealer or find a drug dealer. I didn’t know at that point that drug dealers find our kids and are matched with them actually with the algorithm on Snapchat. So it’s really crazy what I have discovered and also it has led to so much advocacy and trying to build awareness for other families so they don’t suffer our fate. But with him, like 300 people a day, this is happening to a drug dealer found him on Snapchat, offered to deliver, you know, it gave him a colorful menu of different drugs he could deliver to the door, like a Percocet or a Xanax for $2 or whatever. And my son, we were in the middle of the pandemic, he was sheltering at home, isolated and bored, and this guy got in touch with him and he decided to take him up on it and the guy delivered it like a pizza to our house while we were sleeping. And he took something that was pure fentanyl. And I also didn’t know that, you know, when we were young, good kids, good kids have always made dumb decisions and experimented. I mean, I sure did. It’s not like I ever gave him permission to do that. But now experimentation is fatal, about 65% of the street drugs out there, even marijuana, is laced, not from dispensaries, but on the street, is laced with fentanyl. And it only takes a few grains of sand to kill you. So it killed him. And you can imagine the earthquake that reverberated and the adversity that that created.

SPEAKER_01: I can’t imagine and I’m trying to imagine and it’s just overwhelming. I’m so sorry.

SPEAKER_00: Wow. Thank you. Yeah. It was, I mean, I definitely had lost, I had already lost both my parents and people who my grandmothers and people who were really central and important to my life. And in many ways, what I experienced through those losses and the adversity that brought me, you know, kind of prepared me as much as one could be prepared, but nothing that I’ve ever experienced is deeper and wider than the pain of losing a child, at least, I think for any parent, but certainly for me.

SPEAKER_01: I’ve heard that. I’m not a parent. I haven’t lost a child, but I’ve heard that that’s unanimous. So how did having that happen to you impact you and yeah, first?

SPEAKER_00: Well, I mean, I froze for a year. In some ways, it was a blessing that the pandemic was happening because I couldn’t do anything, but I literally couldn’t move. I think I spent a year almost just staring and trying to keep breathing. And you know, my community came around me. I just really worked my healing. I worked. I was committed. I had a metaphysical experience right after his death where I was sitting on the beach. It was only a few days after he died. And I always, you know, the beach is one of my healing, my key healing places. So I immediately went there just to try to, I literally didn’t know how to breathe anymore. And so I was just a brain shut down. Yeah, completely. And so I was just trying to keep, to just breathe and I was rocking back and forth and a voice, you know, I’m someone who’s for decades, you know, I kind of have my reawakening, I would say in 2015, I was very awake as a kid. And then for all sorts of reasons in my family system, I shut it down and then had a reawakening in my, you know, about 15 years prior. So by the time this happened, I had opened a lot of channels and could certainly, I certainly knew things. I sometimes saw movies of things. I, you know, I could feel things, but I wasn’t someone who was what they call clear audience where you hear things. But in this case, this was the first time a voice came through. It was a very loud, booming masculine voice that said, do you want to live or die? And I immediately knew what that question meant because about 10 years prior, my mother had died quite quickly. She, you know, she went on a downward turn with metastasized cancer. And that was my deepest, widest loss before Sammy. And I was actually filming a series for own. I was launching my television show. I was unbelievably busy and I had to keep it together. So I just squelched it. I, you know, I just kind of bypassed it. And I, you know, I would connect with my grief from time to time, but I learned in order to function with this opportunity, I was being given to compartmentalize it and not deal with it and not feel the pain because I had no time. I had hair and makeup. I was on cameras. Not like I could lose my shit. So and we were in a really rigorous, you know, 12 hour day, almost seven days a week, filming schedule. So within a year of my mother dying, I was in my early 40s with no breast, you know, no braka, no genetic predisposition, very healthy yoga, vegetarian, blah, blah, blah. And I discovered I had breast cancer and the same breast she had breast cancer in. And it was a very aggressive kind. It had shown up in less than a year, the year before I had a clear mammogram, and all of a sudden I finally got around to doing it again, you know, because you’re supposed to do it every year after 40. So I think I’d just turned 40. Anyway, I had to go through the full Monty, mastectomy, chemotherapy, everything, not radiation, but chemo and herceptin because and a mastectomy on the left side. And so I had to stop my life. And I learned very quickly and I knew right away that this was my body reacting to not feeling and releasing what needed to be felt.

SPEAKER_01: Wishing down the feelings and say, I can’t feel this, I have to function. I can’t feel that no time to, no time to go. Just time to go. Just kind of perform. Just time to show that I’m okay. I’m so sorry.

SPEAKER_00: Oh my God. Well, it was an unbelievable. I mean, it was very, it was hard, but it was an unbelievable blessing. It was an unbelievable blessing.

SPEAKER_01: Yeah. I think this is a great point for all people dealing with adversity to show the truth in the fact that nature brings you one, like nature will present with you one challenge. And if you like just swipe it off the table, the next one comes harder and more disruptive. Yeah. Like that one. And now you’re having the voice tell you, do you want to live?

SPEAKER_00: And I knew and I say the same thing. Like, you know, first universal tap at the door, you don’t listen, they knock, then they pound, then they’re like, fuck you, blowing the whole house down. Exactly. Now that’s it. So when the voice said, do you want to live or die? I knew what that question meant, not that I was, it didn’t even, it wasn’t even a possibility to kill myself. That didn’t enter my consciousness. Because that isn’t an orientation for me. And I have two other kids and a husband and a beautiful life in many ways. But so even though I didn’t know how to take my next breath, I knew, I said, no, I want to live. I said out loud. Yeah, I want to live, you know, and then I felt this flush of just, it’s almost impossible to describe how intense and profound it was. But it was this profound physical awareness of what an insane miracle it is to even be in these bodies, to have this life, to be here, having this experience that my soul, you know, all our souls signed up for. And I felt, I didn’t just understand it, which I had already understood, but I felt it in such a profound way, just like a rush of the deepest, widest grace of that truth. And so I said, again, yeah, I, I get it. I want to live. And then the voice said, okay, well, if you want to live, you need to leave everything and everyone and go away somewhere right now, you can’t wait and go away and go all the way into your pain, which was the fricking last thing I wanted to do. Plus I couldn’t even imagine going home to my own show. I got to go, baby. Yeah, well, yeah. I mean, and at this point, my, it was the middle of a pandemic and, and, you know, the Oprah has been, you know, dark for many years now and I’ve moved on to other things and I’m my own boss. And so it wasn’t even so much about work. It was my family, like I couldn’t imagine. And also I didn’t want to die. Like I couldn’t even breathe. I didn’t, the last thing I wanted to do was go all the way into it. And so I had, I, but I, you know, when a voice tells you you’re, you’re going to die if you don’t do this, at least I listened to it. So I went home and I told my husband, listen, I need to leave, you know, for at least a week or I’m going to die. I didn’t listen then. He did. I mean, he, I think either he was. Yeah, either he was in his own shock or he maybe just was filled with whatever it was. He just said, okay. And I went and a really dear friend of mine who’s exceptional at like holding big stuff. You know, you need a friend like that for something like this drove me 1440 Multiversity. This retreat center in near Santa Cruz. Yeah, beautiful there. And I had done some events there. So when, when what happened to my son Sammy happened, it went viral for some reason. It was the last thing I expected. It did and a someone, the people from 1440 reached out to me and they said, you know, gave their condolences and said, listen, if you want to come cocoon here, we’re closed for the pandemic, but we’ll open a faculty house for you and you can just be on the campus. So that’s. I mean, not only was it was, it was such a blessing because I got there and all I brought was some like sweats and a weighted blanket. And I get there and they had filled the house with delicious vegetarian food and blankets and they had framed a picture of me and Sammy by the bedside. I mean, just like it was so sweet and it was such a beautiful cocoon. And I spent that week, I called in everyone I could think of in my community who could help me go all the way into the pain. So I had a somatic experiencing therapist and I had done very little of that up to that point some but not much. You know, I was doing grief yoga, I was doing breath work, I was doing body work, I was doing forest bathing, I was wailing in the arms because the mother tree of the Redwood forest or at least that Redwood forest is on the property. So I was sitting in the mother tree wailing for hours. And by the end of that week, I was really, I certainly wasn’t healed, but I was really transformed and that was the beginning of a huge evolution and year of really deep. I mean, I’m still healing, but really deep that first year was really deep profound healing. And I made a promise because I was sitting there like this is, I was aware, I was in the middle of it and I was also holding the awareness of what a blessing this was that I was like, I don’t even know that I could afford this if I were paying for it. And this has all just been gifted to me. All the healers who were my friends showed up, the 1440 giving me a place to stay like, I was like this, I need to make this available for more mamas. So one day I’m going to come back. I told the mother tree and my friend Tina, one day I’m going to come back and bring a group of mamas to go through this process. And on April 3rd, coming up, I am actually doing it. And I’m taking 50 mamas to the, to 1440. I raised the money to take 30 of them for free or for partial scholarships. Beautiful.

SPEAKER_01: Yeah. So, so that’s an amazing story. Thank you for sharing. So beautifully. So now, you know, you said that you healed, you said you transformed. How did it affect your connection to spirit, to be connected? Tell us about that, would you?

SPEAKER_00: Yeah. I mean, the pain. What I didn’t understand is that until I started really going through the healing and committing to that is that when something this deep and wide happens to you, and it could, you know, it’s different for everyone. It doesn’t have to be the death of a child, but something big. It’s an invitation to, it’s like the only way I can describe it is that a portal opens. And if you are willing to go into the portal, it will be painful and it will be intense, but it will burn away everything that’s in the way of your truest, most, most authentic self and therefore your truest, most authentic connection to spirit. So what I found is that the, you know, the first surprise to me was every time I had a huge release, semantically, a huge, deep guttural going all the way to the bottom of the pain in that moment. You know, not only did it only take about 10 to 15 minutes to go to really go in and feel it, not like analyzing and thinking, but let my body lead.

SPEAKER_01: Yep. I know this process. I take people through.

SPEAKER_00: I know there are a million. I know. Well, this is the part I didn’t know is that after that, your vibration rises. Exactly. And Sammy could meet me in the middle because when we leave our bodies, we’re vibrating at such a high frequency, no human body could ever reach it. And it’s really hard for them to reach us. Right. In these very, that’s the irony when you’re in your lowest of low despair, where you need them the most, you know, they can’t reach you. But when I would have a huge release, he would come in and tell me things or say things or connect. So at first, I just listened and I didn’t really even, I remember asking one of my, you know, more mystic teachers. I was like, is he, you know, I had to be reminded that there’s no time on the other side because I was feeling guilty thinking he’s sitting there tapping his foot waiting for me to communicate back. But I just really couldn’t. I couldn’t. I was still in so much pain and also really angry at him for being such a dumbass and making that fatal mistake. And I needed to work through that. I just didn’t want to have a conversation yet. And I was feeling guilty about that. But of course he’s not, you know, there is no time and there’s no, you know, it wasn’t an issue. But I am now, I would say about a year and a half after his death, I started to have more two-way connection with him and more two-way connection with spirit. I had for many years communicated with spirit just by getting downloads or messages or by sending messages, you know, and prayers there. But I didn’t really have a conversation. And so as I started having a conversation slowly with Sammy that I’m still unwrapping because I’m learning how I have to learn how to have a conversation not with the Sammy I knew in this life, you know, it’s a conversation with his eternal, brilliant, magical soul that is much older and wiser than I am. So I’m learning how to access that part of him and have a two-way conversation. But as I’ve been doing that more and more, it also has allowed me to have more of a two-way conversation with God or holy, holy oneness as I call her.

SPEAKER_01: And how is the conversation with holy oneness changing your day-to-day experience, Laura?

SPEAKER_00: I, well, I only starting about the time I started those, you know, that connection more in earnest, I got the very clear message that I was supposed to make this major change where basically I was only going to say yes to things that my body had a full body yes to. And otherwise, I would say no. And so I made that commitment and I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal and boy did it become one because there were so many things that I wanted to say yes to that my body was like, ah-uh. And there were so many things that I wanted to say no to. My body was like, oh no, you can do it. Well, as I started listening to that, it changed everything and I haven’t stopped. I mean, even like when you asked me to come on this and it was kind of a last-minute thing, I don’t know. I don’t think about it. I asked my body first. Nice. And I don’t think about the logistics. But first I’m like, do you want to do this? Is this a yes or no? And if it’s a yes, I do it.

SPEAKER_01: And I’m so glad that you did because what your story is so, your path has been similar to mine. I mean, I haven’t had a son that died, but my healing has been through somatic experience, breathing yoga, these kinds of trauma therapy, tapping and all of that. And what I want to say is that what I was wanting to say a minute ago is that it’s so beautiful that you chose to be here, which is somebody was speaking a couple of episodes ago and she said the first thing to a thriving operating system, which is living from joy basically is choosing to be here. Number one. Number one. Not a choose. It is a choice. Yeah. And then that you actually went away, you had all that support and you let yourself feel the feelings go through it and that you lived through it. You’re still here. The story.

SPEAKER_00: I’m familiar and I’ve just met since met thousands of parents and mamas.

SPEAKER_01: So many doors have opened and also that you’re the door of your heart to spirit and to connecting with your son and having a conversation and the healing that needs to happen there and being able to get the wisdom from him all happened because you weren’t dumbed down by repressing your emotions. So I’m trying to wanting to sort of make that point really clear for people because sometimes you look at your spiritual bypass and I’m a I’m a I’m a I’m like I’m almost enlightened

SPEAKER_00: and I’m I’m a good and I’m just going to look at the positive and and there is a place for that. Definitely is, but it is your absolutely right. And I and I and I you know of these thousands of mamas I’ve now met as a result of this experience. You know, they just have been coming out of the woodwork. I am so my it’s so astonishing. It shouldn’t be astonishing, but I see the effects of not allowing yourself to be with the pain. It’s like every cell in their body is squelched, clenched. Their whole system is clenched. One mama said to me, I take I can’t feel I take all the feelings and I just put them into a teeny tiny ball and I hold it inside me and all I could think I didn’t say this to her but all I could think is like yeah and that ball is going to metastasize you know, may not lead to cancer but it leads to inflammatory diseases. It leads to chronic depression. It leads to chronic anxiety. It leads to all kinds of inflammatory physical issues choices.

SPEAKER_01: I mean, all of the above.

SPEAKER_00: Yeah, you can’t be in your body if you aren’t feeling your feelings and if you can’t be in your body, then you’re screwed.

SPEAKER_01: Right. And you don’t get any of the messages by bit a higher level and you can’t function to and you can’t bring forth. Okay, so here’s a question I want to ask you. So I go by the principle of we have an ego self and an innate essential self. How would you say that your the healing and from all of this working the program doing the healing doing the feeling the breathing all that? How would you say that that has supported your authentic self or that natural inner essence of yours coming alive inside of you and being expressed quite well, I think just

SPEAKER_00: even without me doing anything going through that fire when you’re in the darkest and any you know, anyone knows who’s gone through one of these major painful events. I call them AFGE is another freaking growth experience like these huge things. Part of its purpose and part of what it does is it shatters your ego, at least for a while, right? And something like this, I had no I had zero ability to have a superficial conversation or pretend I had no energy I could barely breathe or function or like doing one thing in a day. It felt like I’d run a marathon. So I had zero patience and zero energy for anything that wasn’t authentic. I was so authentically myself because I had no choice and as a recovering codependent and I wasn’t even worried about it because I had no choice. I was in survival mode, but what I quickly discovered is that the sky didn’t fall on I didn’t care whether the sky fell on my head, but the sky didn’t fall on my head. People could actually handle and in fact, light more often than not and embrace my authentic self. And so, you know, one of the remnants is that I’ll be at a cocktail party or some event for my husband’s business with a whole bunch of people and I start having a conversation. I’m like, listen, I’m really sorry, but I can’t do small talk. Like I don’t know how. So do you want to talk about something real? You know, and they’re kind of like, you know, but like I just can’t. So there’s a freedom in that. And it’s also an access point because when you are living according to your body’s truth and even your cognitive and emotional truth, they’re all interconnected. And the more you live in your truth, the more truth you attract. And there have definitely been friends and even loved ones that I’ve just kind of gently let go. Not because they hated my authentic self, but they couldn’t really hang with it or they couldn’t even really hang with my pain when I was going through it and no hard feelings. But like, you know, life is short and this life is a profound gift that I’m not going to waste. So I don’t have time for, I don’t have time for anything that isn’t authentic.

SPEAKER_01: Yeah, so it sounds like you not only have more expression of it, but also that you’re showing up and having authenticity in your relationships and making boundaries and all that kind of thing. And I have gone through a very similar process with, you know, small talk and letting go with friends or lessening my amount of interaction with certain people where that’s really all where they can relate. Or they themselves are in a lot of survival stuff, which is difficult also. So, wow, it’s been so amazing. So are there any tips that you can give our listeners on how, I mean, you’ve pretty much filled out the process, but maybe is there anything additional that you want to say about how people, what might be able to help them to not only overcome the adversity, but to have that deeper appreciation in life, which is what I call a greater spiritual connection. I mean, that’s a way that shows up, right?

SPEAKER_00: Yeah. And I think it’s really about making that choice, first and foremost, that we talked about not only to live, but to live fully and to be willing because the majority of us aren’t even in our bodies. I certainly was. I was in my intellect or and I also had a story that like the spirit was beyond my physical form. So I needed to be up there in meditation or whatever. And I didn’t realize that the more and more and more I could be in my body, that’s my receiving station, the more and more access I could get. So I would say, come back, come back to your body. And when you do the reason you haven’t come back, you know, you will have to feel what wants to be felt, what has, what you have been avoiding feeling and sometimes facing by staying out of your body and just associating from it. So be brave, be courageous, totally. Yeah. And be willing because you won’t be sorry and do it with support. I mean, I don’t think anyone can do this alone. But do it, you know, find a good somatic, experiencing person to start at the very least. That would be me.

SPEAKER_01: Yeah. I’m really good at that. I’ve been through so much and I, you know, educated and practiced. And yeah. So what was, about that point, I was going to say, the thing when you came in your body, when you had the mystical experience and you woke up to how much you would take in for granted about your life. And you actually like the veil got pulled back that you could see how precious it is to have a human body, to be able to feel the feelings. And that’s what we’re here to do, of course, enjoy. But we can also enjoy our heartbreaking and shadiness. It’s a learning experience. It’s like another, it’s another spice of life. And it’s not so pleasant. But what it ends up opening for you, these portals, these doorways, these pathways and opportunities that come because you’re willing to be in the truth of what you’re experiencing.

SPEAKER_00: Yeah. Absolutely. It’s not only a way to be further, it is a way to be further in the truth. All of that is true. And it is the path to freedom. And I also have found absolutely 100% that the deeper you’re willing to go into the truth of your pain, I’m not saying fabricating pain or going into some self-pitying thing that isn’t authentic. But the deeper you can go into your authentic pain, the higher the levels of joy your body can hold. All of these emotions come out the same channels. So if you are keeping them flowing fully, so the more pain you’re willing to feel, the more joy you will feel.

SPEAKER_01: So do you, I have this experience a lot. I wonder if you do or I’ll be in a concert, I’ll be eating good food, I’ll be with some friends and I’ll be like like in H.E.L. when we were leaving. I was like so blissed out. I’m so much bliss going through my veins. I can hardly stand it. I’m looking around and everybody’s just like mildly smiling. Don’t you find?

SPEAKER_00: Yeah, and my heart goes out because that to them is the most joy they’re capable of. And they’re like wow, I’m experiencing tremendous joy. So in their reality, that’s a huge level of joy. But they don’t realize that there’s even more abundance of joy available to you. And it’s so kind of joy.

SPEAKER_01: And so quantity and quality. Yes, yes, for sure. One last question before we’ll wrap up is how did the healing, because you’re a sex intimacy and relationship expert, how did it, if you feel open to talking about this, how did it impact your relationship with your spouse?

SPEAKER_00: Oh, well, it’s been interesting. It’s for me, because I have a lot of stories about what serves and what doesn’t serve with the healing. And I quickly, I worked with a lot of grief educators and healers who were helping me discover these truths. So I can’t take credit for discovering this on my own, but I committed to letting him grieve without any judgment exactly how he needed to and wanted to. And he has been, he has grieved in a completely different way that makes no sense to me. But I can see it makes tremendous sense to him. And he said to me, not long after Sammy died, he was like, you know, we’ve been together 21 years, married 21 years. And he said, you know, I know this kind of thing breaks up. You know, many couples don’t make it through this kind of loss, which is true. But we’re going to make it like, and I said, yeah, I think we are, but you need to understand. And I knew it then. And this is before, like, as I was getting ready to leave for 1440, I said, you need to understand that I already know every cell in my body will be different on the other side of this. I am not going to be the same person. So I have every intention of making this relationship work and growing through this with you, but you need to be prepared that, you know, I will no longer be the same. A lot is going to change. I don’t know what yet. But I know.

SPEAKER_01: I have to say, Laura, I mean, what a very high level of truth that is because you don’t know how you’re going to change. You don’t know how he’s going to change. And when I asked you the question, I had forgotten that he was the father of this person. Oh, yeah. He’s a similar, but different process. Very different. Wow, well, that’s incredible. So I think it’s time to wrap up. Is there any other last point anything else you want to leave with our audience today?

SPEAKER_00: No, I mean, I think we’ve said it all. You can follow me on social media. I do a ton of posts about trauma and healing and grief. And I call them, you know, U-G-S like unexpected grief symptoms that people don’t necessarily think about or realize and don’t know as normal. So it’s a beautiful community there on all the, you know, on Facebook, Instagram, primarily also a little bit on X. What’s your address? What’s your my web address is dr. Laura Berman.com. B E R B E R not B U R B E. Yeah, LA you are a B E R M and and if you go there, I mean, there’s lots of free content and blogs and videos, but I have a YouTube channel where I have tons of videos. But you can, one of the free things that I’ve been promoting around Valentine’s Day and is still available and I’m going to try to keep available is a month of love. So if you sign up, you get a free month every day, you get a tip or a tool to take you deeper in your intimacy and connection to your partner. And if you finish the month, you get a prize, which is my quantum sex handbook.

SPEAKER_01: So if you want to have quantum sex, that’s not quantum healing and quantum time and quantum mechanics and quantum sex.

SPEAKER_00: Yeah, that’s the book I’m working on. I have my last book was quantum love about how to apply the principles of quantum physics and use your body’s energetic frequency to create the love life you want that I wrote well before Sammy died. And it was part of the reason I think I was, I understood that energy can’t be created or destroyed. It just changes for him. So he’s still here, you know, and thank goodness I understood that. But now I’m working on quantum sex.

SPEAKER_01: So well, amazing. That’s so beautiful. I want to thank you so much for coming and sharing your incredible wisdom and kindness and love and insight with us today. Thanks so much, Laura. So welcome. Thank you for having me. And thank you. I’m going to thank your body for saying yes. Yes. Thank your body. She’s very, she’s very wonderful. All right. Much love. I’ll look forward to seeing you soon. 

… A weekly video podcast that will help set you free. New episodes released every Wed at Noon, PT

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Grief as a Portal

with Dr. Laura Berman, Ep. 4

World-Renowned Sex, Love & Relationship Therapist | USA Today Columnist NY Times Best Selling Author | Award-Winning Syndicated Radio Host

Intro to Episode

Peggy introduces Dr. Laura Berman, a renowned sex, love, and relationship therapist, whose life story is marked by both triumphs and profound loss. Dr. Berman shares her harrowing experience of losing her 16-year-old son to accidental fentanyl poisoning, shedding light on the alarming realities of drug-related tragedies in today’s society. Through her candid account, Dr. Berman reveals how facing this adversity led her to a path of deep healing and spiritual awakening, transforming her perspective on life, relationships, and the power of authenticity. This conversation delves into the profound impact of grief, the importance of embracing one’s pain, and the journey towards reclaiming joy amidst profound loss.

March 13, 2024

Interview Summary

Peggy O’Neill, the host of the podcast “From Adversity to Awakening,” and Dr. Laura Berman, a renowned sex, love, and relationship therapist sit down for a conversation. Peggy introduces Laura, highlighting her impressive credentials and the adversity she has overcome. Laura then shares the tragic story of losing her 16-year-old son, Sammy, to accidental fentanyl poisoning. She describes how she froze for a year after his death, but eventually embarked on a journey of healing, guided by a profound metaphysical experience.

Laura emphasizes the importance of fully experiencing and processing one’s pain, noting that avoiding it can lead to physical and emotional ailments. She describes how connecting with her body and allowing herself to feel deeply transformed her, leading to a stronger connection with her son in the spiritual realm. Laura discusses the impact of her healing journey on her relationships, particularly with her husband, acknowledging that they have both changed and committed to growing together.

Throughout the conversation, Laura emphasizes the importance of authenticity, bravery, and connection with one’s body in the healing process. She encourages listeners to embrace their pain as a path to freedom and deeper joy, and to approach relationships with openness and acceptance of change.

Connect with Dr. Laura

Bio

Dr. Laura Berman is a world-renowned sex, love and relationship therapist. She earned two Masters Degrees and a PhD from New York University, and has spent the past 30 years devoting her career to helping others learn to love and be loved better from a mind, body and spiritual perspective.

Dr. Berman is a columnist for USA Today. She is also a New York Times best selling author who has written nine books, and is an award-winning syndicated radio host. She currently hosts the popular love and sex advice podcast, The Language of Love.

In addition to her regular appearances in daytime and news media, Dr Berman was also the sex, love and relationship expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show and has starred in four television series, including two on the OWN Network and one on Showtime.

Video Transcript

*This transcript was generated automatically. Its accuracy may vary.

SPEAKER_01: Hi everybody, welcome to another episode of From Adversity to Awakening. I’m your host, Peggy O’Neill, and today I have an amazing guest for you. Her name is Dr. Laura Berman, and she is going to blow your mind with all of her extra cheese of overcoming her adversity. And welcome Laura. Thank you. Yeah, nice to have you. So I’ll just read a little introduction and you’re going to find out what an awesome person we have with us today, what amazing legacy she has already left. So Dr. Laura Berman is a world-renowned sex, love, and relationship therapist. She earned two masters, not just one, but two, and a PhD from New York University, and has spent the past 30 years devoting her career to helping others learn to love and be loved better from a mind, body, and spiritual perspective. Dr. Berman is a calmness for USA Today. And it’s also a New York Times bestselling author who has written nine books and is an award-winning syndicated radio host. Oh my god, who is this person? She currently hosts the popular love and sex advice podcast to an end, you guys, called The Language of Love. In addition to her regular appearances in daytime and news media, Dr. Berman was also the sex. Okay, get ready for this. You’re like, I believe this. She’s also the sex-loving relationship expert on the Oprah Winfrey Show and has started in four television series, including two on the own network and on Showtime. Okay, it’s Showtime. All right, Laura, I can’t wait to hear all about your story and how, I mean, you’ve obviously done in a phenomenal amount of work. You’re obviously very devoted to helping people into completing what’s in front of you. And I just want to commend you for having achieved so much in your life. It’s amazing. Thank you. Yeah. So why don’t we start by having you tell us a little bit about your greatest adversity and how that was for you, how it changed your life like that?

SPEAKER_00: Yeah, I mean, I think we’ve, like many people, I’ve had a lot of blessings and I’ve had a lot of adversity. But if I had to choose, and I don’t think it’s a hard choice, the biggest adversity I faced was three years ago when I walked into my 16-year-old middle son’s room and found him lifeless on the floor and lost him to accidental fentanyl poisoning. He was basically murdered by a drug dealer who found him on Snapchat. I didn’t even know, I thought you had to know a drug dealer or know someone who knew a drug dealer or find a drug dealer. I didn’t know at that point that drug dealers find our kids and are matched with them actually with the algorithm on Snapchat. So it’s really crazy what I have discovered and also it has led to so much advocacy and trying to build awareness for other families so they don’t suffer our fate. But with him, like 300 people a day, this is happening to a drug dealer found him on Snapchat, offered to deliver, you know, it gave him a colorful menu of different drugs he could deliver to the door, like a Percocet or a Xanax for $2 or whatever. And my son, we were in the middle of the pandemic, he was sheltering at home, isolated and bored, and this guy got in touch with him and he decided to take him up on it and the guy delivered it like a pizza to our house while we were sleeping. And he took something that was pure fentanyl. And I also didn’t know that, you know, when we were young, good kids, good kids have always made dumb decisions and experimented. I mean, I sure did. It’s not like I ever gave him permission to do that. But now experimentation is fatal, about 65% of the street drugs out there, even marijuana, is laced, not from dispensaries, but on the street, is laced with fentanyl. And it only takes a few grains of sand to kill you. So it killed him. And you can imagine the earthquake that reverberated and the adversity that that created.

SPEAKER_01: I can’t imagine and I’m trying to imagine and it’s just overwhelming. I’m so sorry.

SPEAKER_00: Wow. Thank you. Yeah. It was, I mean, I definitely had lost, I had already lost both my parents and people who my grandmothers and people who were really central and important to my life. And in many ways, what I experienced through those losses and the adversity that brought me, you know, kind of prepared me as much as one could be prepared, but nothing that I’ve ever experienced is deeper and wider than the pain of losing a child, at least, I think for any parent, but certainly for me.

SPEAKER_01: I’ve heard that. I’m not a parent. I haven’t lost a child, but I’ve heard that that’s unanimous. So how did having that happen to you impact you and yeah, first?

SPEAKER_00: Well, I mean, I froze for a year. In some ways, it was a blessing that the pandemic was happening because I couldn’t do anything, but I literally couldn’t move. I think I spent a year almost just staring and trying to keep breathing. And you know, my community came around me. I just really worked my healing. I worked. I was committed. I had a metaphysical experience right after his death where I was sitting on the beach. It was only a few days after he died. And I always, you know, the beach is one of my healing, my key healing places. So I immediately went there just to try to, I literally didn’t know how to breathe anymore. And so I was just a brain shut down. Yeah, completely. And so I was just trying to keep, to just breathe and I was rocking back and forth and a voice, you know, I’m someone who’s for decades, you know, I kind of have my reawakening, I would say in 2015, I was very awake as a kid. And then for all sorts of reasons in my family system, I shut it down and then had a reawakening in my, you know, about 15 years prior. So by the time this happened, I had opened a lot of channels and could certainly, I certainly knew things. I sometimes saw movies of things. I, you know, I could feel things, but I wasn’t someone who was what they call clear audience where you hear things. But in this case, this was the first time a voice came through. It was a very loud, booming masculine voice that said, do you want to live or die? And I immediately knew what that question meant because about 10 years prior, my mother had died quite quickly. She, you know, she went on a downward turn with metastasized cancer. And that was my deepest, widest loss before Sammy. And I was actually filming a series for own. I was launching my television show. I was unbelievably busy and I had to keep it together. So I just squelched it. I, you know, I just kind of bypassed it. And I, you know, I would connect with my grief from time to time, but I learned in order to function with this opportunity, I was being given to compartmentalize it and not deal with it and not feel the pain because I had no time. I had hair and makeup. I was on cameras. Not like I could lose my shit. So and we were in a really rigorous, you know, 12 hour day, almost seven days a week, filming schedule. So within a year of my mother dying, I was in my early 40s with no breast, you know, no braka, no genetic predisposition, very healthy yoga, vegetarian, blah, blah, blah. And I discovered I had breast cancer and the same breast she had breast cancer in. And it was a very aggressive kind. It had shown up in less than a year, the year before I had a clear mammogram, and all of a sudden I finally got around to doing it again, you know, because you’re supposed to do it every year after 40. So I think I’d just turned 40. Anyway, I had to go through the full Monty, mastectomy, chemotherapy, everything, not radiation, but chemo and herceptin because and a mastectomy on the left side. And so I had to stop my life. And I learned very quickly and I knew right away that this was my body reacting to not feeling and releasing what needed to be felt.

SPEAKER_01: Wishing down the feelings and say, I can’t feel this, I have to function. I can’t feel that no time to, no time to go. Just time to go. Just kind of perform. Just time to show that I’m okay. I’m so sorry.

SPEAKER_00: Oh my God. Well, it was an unbelievable. I mean, it was very, it was hard, but it was an unbelievable blessing. It was an unbelievable blessing.

SPEAKER_01: Yeah. I think this is a great point for all people dealing with adversity to show the truth in the fact that nature brings you one, like nature will present with you one challenge. And if you like just swipe it off the table, the next one comes harder and more disruptive. Yeah. Like that one. And now you’re having the voice tell you, do you want to live?

SPEAKER_00: And I knew and I say the same thing. Like, you know, first universal tap at the door, you don’t listen, they knock, then they pound, then they’re like, fuck you, blowing the whole house down. Exactly. Now that’s it. So when the voice said, do you want to live or die? I knew what that question meant, not that I was, it didn’t even, it wasn’t even a possibility to kill myself. That didn’t enter my consciousness. Because that isn’t an orientation for me. And I have two other kids and a husband and a beautiful life in many ways. But so even though I didn’t know how to take my next breath, I knew, I said, no, I want to live. I said out loud. Yeah, I want to live, you know, and then I felt this flush of just, it’s almost impossible to describe how intense and profound it was. But it was this profound physical awareness of what an insane miracle it is to even be in these bodies, to have this life, to be here, having this experience that my soul, you know, all our souls signed up for. And I felt, I didn’t just understand it, which I had already understood, but I felt it in such a profound way, just like a rush of the deepest, widest grace of that truth. And so I said, again, yeah, I, I get it. I want to live. And then the voice said, okay, well, if you want to live, you need to leave everything and everyone and go away somewhere right now, you can’t wait and go away and go all the way into your pain, which was the fricking last thing I wanted to do. Plus I couldn’t even imagine going home to my own show. I got to go, baby. Yeah, well, yeah. I mean, and at this point, my, it was the middle of a pandemic and, and, you know, the Oprah has been, you know, dark for many years now and I’ve moved on to other things and I’m my own boss. And so it wasn’t even so much about work. It was my family, like I couldn’t imagine. And also I didn’t want to die. Like I couldn’t even breathe. I didn’t, the last thing I wanted to do was go all the way into it. And so I had, I, but I, you know, when a voice tells you you’re, you’re going to die if you don’t do this, at least I listened to it. So I went home and I told my husband, listen, I need to leave, you know, for at least a week or I’m going to die. I didn’t listen then. He did. I mean, he, I think either he was. Yeah, either he was in his own shock or he maybe just was filled with whatever it was. He just said, okay. And I went and a really dear friend of mine who’s exceptional at like holding big stuff. You know, you need a friend like that for something like this drove me 1440 Multiversity. This retreat center in near Santa Cruz. Yeah, beautiful there. And I had done some events there. So when, when what happened to my son Sammy happened, it went viral for some reason. It was the last thing I expected. It did and a someone, the people from 1440 reached out to me and they said, you know, gave their condolences and said, listen, if you want to come cocoon here, we’re closed for the pandemic, but we’ll open a faculty house for you and you can just be on the campus. So that’s. I mean, not only was it was, it was such a blessing because I got there and all I brought was some like sweats and a weighted blanket. And I get there and they had filled the house with delicious vegetarian food and blankets and they had framed a picture of me and Sammy by the bedside. I mean, just like it was so sweet and it was such a beautiful cocoon. And I spent that week, I called in everyone I could think of in my community who could help me go all the way into the pain. So I had a somatic experiencing therapist and I had done very little of that up to that point some but not much. You know, I was doing grief yoga, I was doing breath work, I was doing body work, I was doing forest bathing, I was wailing in the arms because the mother tree of the Redwood forest or at least that Redwood forest is on the property. So I was sitting in the mother tree wailing for hours. And by the end of that week, I was really, I certainly wasn’t healed, but I was really transformed and that was the beginning of a huge evolution and year of really deep. I mean, I’m still healing, but really deep that first year was really deep profound healing. And I made a promise because I was sitting there like this is, I was aware, I was in the middle of it and I was also holding the awareness of what a blessing this was that I was like, I don’t even know that I could afford this if I were paying for it. And this has all just been gifted to me. All the healers who were my friends showed up, the 1440 giving me a place to stay like, I was like this, I need to make this available for more mamas. So one day I’m going to come back. I told the mother tree and my friend Tina, one day I’m going to come back and bring a group of mamas to go through this process. And on April 3rd, coming up, I am actually doing it. And I’m taking 50 mamas to the, to 1440. I raised the money to take 30 of them for free or for partial scholarships. Beautiful.

SPEAKER_01: Yeah. So, so that’s an amazing story. Thank you for sharing. So beautifully. So now, you know, you said that you healed, you said you transformed. How did it affect your connection to spirit, to be connected? Tell us about that, would you?

SPEAKER_00: Yeah. I mean, the pain. What I didn’t understand is that until I started really going through the healing and committing to that is that when something this deep and wide happens to you, and it could, you know, it’s different for everyone. It doesn’t have to be the death of a child, but something big. It’s an invitation to, it’s like the only way I can describe it is that a portal opens. And if you are willing to go into the portal, it will be painful and it will be intense, but it will burn away everything that’s in the way of your truest, most, most authentic self and therefore your truest, most authentic connection to spirit. So what I found is that the, you know, the first surprise to me was every time I had a huge release, semantically, a huge, deep guttural going all the way to the bottom of the pain in that moment. You know, not only did it only take about 10 to 15 minutes to go to really go in and feel it, not like analyzing and thinking, but let my body lead.

SPEAKER_01: Yep. I know this process. I take people through.

SPEAKER_00: I know there are a million. I know. Well, this is the part I didn’t know is that after that, your vibration rises. Exactly. And Sammy could meet me in the middle because when we leave our bodies, we’re vibrating at such a high frequency, no human body could ever reach it. And it’s really hard for them to reach us. Right. In these very, that’s the irony when you’re in your lowest of low despair, where you need them the most, you know, they can’t reach you. But when I would have a huge release, he would come in and tell me things or say things or connect. So at first, I just listened and I didn’t really even, I remember asking one of my, you know, more mystic teachers. I was like, is he, you know, I had to be reminded that there’s no time on the other side because I was feeling guilty thinking he’s sitting there tapping his foot waiting for me to communicate back. But I just really couldn’t. I couldn’t. I was still in so much pain and also really angry at him for being such a dumbass and making that fatal mistake. And I needed to work through that. I just didn’t want to have a conversation yet. And I was feeling guilty about that. But of course he’s not, you know, there is no time and there’s no, you know, it wasn’t an issue. But I am now, I would say about a year and a half after his death, I started to have more two-way connection with him and more two-way connection with spirit. I had for many years communicated with spirit just by getting downloads or messages or by sending messages, you know, and prayers there. But I didn’t really have a conversation. And so as I started having a conversation slowly with Sammy that I’m still unwrapping because I’m learning how I have to learn how to have a conversation not with the Sammy I knew in this life, you know, it’s a conversation with his eternal, brilliant, magical soul that is much older and wiser than I am. So I’m learning how to access that part of him and have a two-way conversation. But as I’ve been doing that more and more, it also has allowed me to have more of a two-way conversation with God or holy, holy oneness as I call her.

SPEAKER_01: And how is the conversation with holy oneness changing your day-to-day experience, Laura?

SPEAKER_00: I, well, I only starting about the time I started those, you know, that connection more in earnest, I got the very clear message that I was supposed to make this major change where basically I was only going to say yes to things that my body had a full body yes to. And otherwise, I would say no. And so I made that commitment and I didn’t think it would be that big of a deal and boy did it become one because there were so many things that I wanted to say yes to that my body was like, ah-uh. And there were so many things that I wanted to say no to. My body was like, oh no, you can do it. Well, as I started listening to that, it changed everything and I haven’t stopped. I mean, even like when you asked me to come on this and it was kind of a last-minute thing, I don’t know. I don’t think about it. I asked my body first. Nice. And I don’t think about the logistics. But first I’m like, do you want to do this? Is this a yes or no? And if it’s a yes, I do it.

SPEAKER_01: And I’m so glad that you did because what your story is so, your path has been similar to mine. I mean, I haven’t had a son that died, but my healing has been through somatic experience, breathing yoga, these kinds of trauma therapy, tapping and all of that. And what I want to say is that what I was wanting to say a minute ago is that it’s so beautiful that you chose to be here, which is somebody was speaking a couple of episodes ago and she said the first thing to a thriving operating system, which is living from joy basically is choosing to be here. Number one. Number one. Not a choose. It is a choice. Yeah. And then that you actually went away, you had all that support and you let yourself feel the feelings go through it and that you lived through it. You’re still here. The story.

SPEAKER_00: I’m familiar and I’ve just met since met thousands of parents and mamas.

SPEAKER_01: So many doors have opened and also that you’re the door of your heart to spirit and to connecting with your son and having a conversation and the healing that needs to happen there and being able to get the wisdom from him all happened because you weren’t dumbed down by repressing your emotions. So I’m trying to wanting to sort of make that point really clear for people because sometimes you look at your spiritual bypass and I’m a I’m a I’m a I’m like I’m almost enlightened

SPEAKER_00: and I’m I’m a good and I’m just going to look at the positive and and there is a place for that. Definitely is, but it is your absolutely right. And I and I and I you know of these thousands of mamas I’ve now met as a result of this experience. You know, they just have been coming out of the woodwork. I am so my it’s so astonishing. It shouldn’t be astonishing, but I see the effects of not allowing yourself to be with the pain. It’s like every cell in their body is squelched, clenched. Their whole system is clenched. One mama said to me, I take I can’t feel I take all the feelings and I just put them into a teeny tiny ball and I hold it inside me and all I could think I didn’t say this to her but all I could think is like yeah and that ball is going to metastasize you know, may not lead to cancer but it leads to inflammatory diseases. It leads to chronic depression. It leads to chronic anxiety. It leads to all kinds of inflammatory physical issues choices.

SPEAKER_01: I mean, all of the above.

SPEAKER_00: Yeah, you can’t be in your body if you aren’t feeling your feelings and if you can’t be in your body, then you’re screwed.

SPEAKER_01: Right. And you don’t get any of the messages by bit a higher level and you can’t function to and you can’t bring forth. Okay, so here’s a question I want to ask you. So I go by the principle of we have an ego self and an innate essential self. How would you say that your the healing and from all of this working the program doing the healing doing the feeling the breathing all that? How would you say that that has supported your authentic self or that natural inner essence of yours coming alive inside of you and being expressed quite well, I think just

SPEAKER_00: even without me doing anything going through that fire when you’re in the darkest and any you know, anyone knows who’s gone through one of these major painful events. I call them AFGE is another freaking growth experience like these huge things. Part of its purpose and part of what it does is it shatters your ego, at least for a while, right? And something like this, I had no I had zero ability to have a superficial conversation or pretend I had no energy I could barely breathe or function or like doing one thing in a day. It felt like I’d run a marathon. So I had zero patience and zero energy for anything that wasn’t authentic. I was so authentically myself because I had no choice and as a recovering codependent and I wasn’t even worried about it because I had no choice. I was in survival mode, but what I quickly discovered is that the sky didn’t fall on I didn’t care whether the sky fell on my head, but the sky didn’t fall on my head. People could actually handle and in fact, light more often than not and embrace my authentic self. And so, you know, one of the remnants is that I’ll be at a cocktail party or some event for my husband’s business with a whole bunch of people and I start having a conversation. I’m like, listen, I’m really sorry, but I can’t do small talk. Like I don’t know how. So do you want to talk about something real? You know, and they’re kind of like, you know, but like I just can’t. So there’s a freedom in that. And it’s also an access point because when you are living according to your body’s truth and even your cognitive and emotional truth, they’re all interconnected. And the more you live in your truth, the more truth you attract. And there have definitely been friends and even loved ones that I’ve just kind of gently let go. Not because they hated my authentic self, but they couldn’t really hang with it or they couldn’t even really hang with my pain when I was going through it and no hard feelings. But like, you know, life is short and this life is a profound gift that I’m not going to waste. So I don’t have time for, I don’t have time for anything that isn’t authentic.

SPEAKER_01: Yeah, so it sounds like you not only have more expression of it, but also that you’re showing up and having authenticity in your relationships and making boundaries and all that kind of thing. And I have gone through a very similar process with, you know, small talk and letting go with friends or lessening my amount of interaction with certain people where that’s really all where they can relate. Or they themselves are in a lot of survival stuff, which is difficult also. So, wow, it’s been so amazing. So are there any tips that you can give our listeners on how, I mean, you’ve pretty much filled out the process, but maybe is there anything additional that you want to say about how people, what might be able to help them to not only overcome the adversity, but to have that deeper appreciation in life, which is what I call a greater spiritual connection. I mean, that’s a way that shows up, right?

SPEAKER_00: Yeah. And I think it’s really about making that choice, first and foremost, that we talked about not only to live, but to live fully and to be willing because the majority of us aren’t even in our bodies. I certainly was. I was in my intellect or and I also had a story that like the spirit was beyond my physical form. So I needed to be up there in meditation or whatever. And I didn’t realize that the more and more and more I could be in my body, that’s my receiving station, the more and more access I could get. So I would say, come back, come back to your body. And when you do the reason you haven’t come back, you know, you will have to feel what wants to be felt, what has, what you have been avoiding feeling and sometimes facing by staying out of your body and just associating from it. So be brave, be courageous, totally. Yeah. And be willing because you won’t be sorry and do it with support. I mean, I don’t think anyone can do this alone. But do it, you know, find a good somatic, experiencing person to start at the very least. That would be me.

SPEAKER_01: Yeah. I’m really good at that. I’ve been through so much and I, you know, educated and practiced. And yeah. So what was, about that point, I was going to say, the thing when you came in your body, when you had the mystical experience and you woke up to how much you would take in for granted about your life. And you actually like the veil got pulled back that you could see how precious it is to have a human body, to be able to feel the feelings. And that’s what we’re here to do, of course, enjoy. But we can also enjoy our heartbreaking and shadiness. It’s a learning experience. It’s like another, it’s another spice of life. And it’s not so pleasant. But what it ends up opening for you, these portals, these doorways, these pathways and opportunities that come because you’re willing to be in the truth of what you’re experiencing.

SPEAKER_00: Yeah. Absolutely. It’s not only a way to be further, it is a way to be further in the truth. All of that is true. And it is the path to freedom. And I also have found absolutely 100% that the deeper you’re willing to go into the truth of your pain, I’m not saying fabricating pain or going into some self-pitying thing that isn’t authentic. But the deeper you can go into your authentic pain, the higher the levels of joy your body can hold. All of these emotions come out the same channels. So if you are keeping them flowing fully, so the more pain you’re willing to feel, the more joy you will feel.

SPEAKER_01: So do you, I have this experience a lot. I wonder if you do or I’ll be in a concert, I’ll be eating good food, I’ll be with some friends and I’ll be like like in H.E.L. when we were leaving. I was like so blissed out. I’m so much bliss going through my veins. I can hardly stand it. I’m looking around and everybody’s just like mildly smiling. Don’t you find?

SPEAKER_00: Yeah, and my heart goes out because that to them is the most joy they’re capable of. And they’re like wow, I’m experiencing tremendous joy. So in their reality, that’s a huge level of joy. But they don’t realize that there’s even more abundance of joy available to you. And it’s so kind of joy.

SPEAKER_01: And so quantity and quality. Yes, yes, for sure. One last question before we’ll wrap up is how did the healing, because you’re a sex intimacy and relationship expert, how did it, if you feel open to talking about this, how did it impact your relationship with your spouse?

SPEAKER_00: Oh, well, it’s been interesting. It’s for me, because I have a lot of stories about what serves and what doesn’t serve with the healing. And I quickly, I worked with a lot of grief educators and healers who were helping me discover these truths. So I can’t take credit for discovering this on my own, but I committed to letting him grieve without any judgment exactly how he needed to and wanted to. And he has been, he has grieved in a completely different way that makes no sense to me. But I can see it makes tremendous sense to him. And he said to me, not long after Sammy died, he was like, you know, we’ve been together 21 years, married 21 years. And he said, you know, I know this kind of thing breaks up. You know, many couples don’t make it through this kind of loss, which is true. But we’re going to make it like, and I said, yeah, I think we are, but you need to understand. And I knew it then. And this is before, like, as I was getting ready to leave for 1440, I said, you need to understand that I already know every cell in my body will be different on the other side of this. I am not going to be the same person. So I have every intention of making this relationship work and growing through this with you, but you need to be prepared that, you know, I will no longer be the same. A lot is going to change. I don’t know what yet. But I know.

SPEAKER_01: I have to say, Laura, I mean, what a very high level of truth that is because you don’t know how you’re going to change. You don’t know how he’s going to change. And when I asked you the question, I had forgotten that he was the father of this person. Oh, yeah. He’s a similar, but different process. Very different. Wow, well, that’s incredible. So I think it’s time to wrap up. Is there any other last point anything else you want to leave with our audience today?

SPEAKER_00: No, I mean, I think we’ve said it all. You can follow me on social media. I do a ton of posts about trauma and healing and grief. And I call them, you know, U-G-S like unexpected grief symptoms that people don’t necessarily think about or realize and don’t know as normal. So it’s a beautiful community there on all the, you know, on Facebook, Instagram, primarily also a little bit on X. What’s your address? What’s your my web address is dr. Laura Berman.com. B E R B E R not B U R B E. Yeah, LA you are a B E R M and and if you go there, I mean, there’s lots of free content and blogs and videos, but I have a YouTube channel where I have tons of videos. But you can, one of the free things that I’ve been promoting around Valentine’s Day and is still available and I’m going to try to keep available is a month of love. So if you sign up, you get a free month every day, you get a tip or a tool to take you deeper in your intimacy and connection to your partner. And if you finish the month, you get a prize, which is my quantum sex handbook.

SPEAKER_01: So if you want to have quantum sex, that’s not quantum healing and quantum time and quantum mechanics and quantum sex.

SPEAKER_00: Yeah, that’s the book I’m working on. I have my last book was quantum love about how to apply the principles of quantum physics and use your body’s energetic frequency to create the love life you want that I wrote well before Sammy died. And it was part of the reason I think I was, I understood that energy can’t be created or destroyed. It just changes for him. So he’s still here, you know, and thank goodness I understood that. But now I’m working on quantum sex.

SPEAKER_01: So well, amazing. That’s so beautiful. I want to thank you so much for coming and sharing your incredible wisdom and kindness and love and insight with us today. Thanks so much, Laura. So welcome. Thank you for having me. And thank you. I’m going to thank your body for saying yes. Thank your body. She’s very, she’s very wonderful. All right. Much love. I’ll look forward to seeing you soon.

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