|All Roads Lead to Rome
About the essential role of grief in all of life's processes and experiences
"Your joy is your sorrow unmasked", Kahil Gibrahan
Many people would gladly prefer to resolve their anxiety, depression,
insomnia, hopelessness by some method that quickly bypasses the need
to grieve. Grief is an experience which we would fear and gladly avoid.
Our consumerism culture promotes and sells the avoidance of difficult
emotions by providing an array of distractions. We enjoy the illusion that
life should be all fun and resent the lessons of loss and impermanence.
If you think about it, life gives us many blessings and gifts, and by the
time we die, we have to give them all back. We might be able to take the
lessons, experiences and memories with us into the afterlife, but that is
mainly a matter of faith. Essentially, we give back everything we are
given by life. Young or old, whatever we acquire or enjoy, we will be
grieving at some point. Lastly, we grieve life itself as we die.
|And she said to the Prophet,
tell us of Joy and Sorrow.
And he answered;
Your joy is your sorrow
And the selfsame well from
which your laughter rises was
often filled with your tears.
And, how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves
into your being, the more joy
you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your
wine the very cup that was
burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that
soothes your spirit, the very
wood that was hollowed with
When you are joyous, look
deep into your heart and you
shall find it is only that which
has given you sorrow that is
giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful, look
again in your heart, and you
shall see that in truth you are
weeping for that which has
been your delight.
Some of you say, "joy is
greater than sorrow", and
others say, "Nay, sorrow is
But I say unto you, they are
Together they come, and
when one sits alone with you
at your board, remember that
the other is asleep on your
by Kahil Gibran, On Joy and
Look at the page on Anxiety; notice how anxiety is a signal
emotion telling us that there are feelings beneath that we have been
avoiding. Overwhelming events, especially from before an age of
understanding, generate reactive intolerable emotions that a
younger mind cannot experience. Those emotions are kept out of
awareness but are expressed physically by digestive problems,
muscle contraction, unpleasant sensations, and sleep disturbances.
It's as though we had gone into shock and never emerged,
''sleepwalking'' through life, getting by but not feeling alive.
So, the ''quick-fix techniques'', [NLP, EFT, EMDR], can rapidly
desensitize to the old fears and, along with medication, provide
symptom relief. The origin of the symptom often remains
unaddressed and avoided. Life's challenges, the process of
maturing, the movement towards acceptance is incomplete.
We don't get out of growing up without paying the grief. We can
avoid growing up by holding grudges, distracting and medicating,
but ultimately the cost of growing up is preferable to the cost of
staying in shock and refusing to accept the truth of what life has
|When we ''wake up'', emerge from shock,
begin to feel alive again, the first feeling to
greet us is usually grief.
So why bother? Waking up to life as
it is brings the capacity to feel all the
emotions, not just the grief, but joy,
satisfaction, excitement, curiosity,
suspense, intrigue, romance, passion,
intensity, masculinity, femininity,
ambition, bittersweet, and any other
emotion that makes life worthwhile.
Grief is nothing to be afraid of. It's perdictable, and, like any other feeling, temporary. Grief rises, falls and
dissipates. As long as people don't try to stop their feelings from welling up, the feelings will eventually subside.
However, when the pain starts to rise, people often fight it with thoughts such as, "This can't happen", "I won't let this
happen", and "What can i do to stop this from happening?" They cut off or push down the feeling, which traps the
pain inside. Fully experiencing the pain is the only thing that will relieve the pain.
Michelle Langley, Women's Infidelity