Good Grief

By Matt Ansoorian

I recently read a science-based article in the Guardian suggesting that “our collective inability to grieve over economic pains has prevented us from coming up with sustainable solutions for the future.” Going a bit further even, the article suggests that “Our decision to value above all else comfort, convenience and a superficial view of happiness, has led to feelings of disassociation and numbness, and as a result we bury our grief deep within our subconscious.”  Interesting. Even in the realm of black and white we take on feelings of Grief?

It got me thinking that if the effects of Grief due to economics can have widespread impact, imagine how profound Grief can be when the epicenter is an emotional one.

After reading this article I spent the next day or so casually evaluating the full spectrum of my Grief (minor to major), and how much of that has been buried in my subconscious. To this point, my inaccurate definition of Grief centered around issues of mortality only…I was wrong.

As I spent more and more time thinking about the major events in my life, I soon came to realize that I was looking in the wrong places. Looking at the majors offered nothing more than the obvious; a sense of loss and subsequent sadness. However, I found that the largest percentage of my acute grief stemmed from the shattered reality of self inflicted, and socially reinforced archetypes. Ideas I  created at different stages of my life that completely shaped my expectation of the future. Illusions about family, friends, relationships with women and vocation, among others.

Once I fixated on those illusions, the flood gates opened. I began to realize with great clarity how much baggage I had been carrying around. Thoughts of low-grade failure and general disappointment were impacting my day to day; thoughts I had spent very little time evaluating.

It became clear in that moment (and ever since), that my feelings of grief were signals. The pain attached to Grief was my mind/bodies way of showing me the path towards freedom of thought. Grief was actually in place, as an indicator. A wake up call! “Face the pain and evaluate the validity of your illusions”. Brilliant mechanism.

In this system, Grief was a friend tapping me on the shoulder.

What if I had listened more? What would life be like today, in this moment, if I embraced that pain, evaluated my illusions, and accepted that my reality was in fact my path all along? What a freeing thought that is!

The beauty of this scenario lies in the fact that today is that day, and each moment I’m able to strip down those illusions and embrace my organic path, the closer I get to honoring my truths. I love that idea. And from this point forward I will be looking at Grief from a different vantage point. As an indicator that my attention is needed.

Pay attention Matt. Grief is not the enemy.

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