We are not a society that discusses much on the value of grief and death.
We are ‘ascenders’; we constantly seek to elevate ourselves amongst the masses, and proudly define ourselves as superior in our own ways.
We want to feel good in our identities – Who doesn’t? To act as a beacon of light, we might even (want to) fight for change, justice and goodness in a divided world.
However, as we look toward and reach out enthusiastically for the skies, we have forgotten the necessity of appreciating the ground that has enabled us in the first place, the lowly Earth.
Unfortunately, this matter goes beyond a matter of gratitude. Our inability to examine and process lowly, Earthly things pertaining to our humanness – as compared to the grandeur of the skies where our hopes and dreams reside – literally stunts our growth, and makes us imbalanced individuals.
Without perspective of polarities and the dual nature of life, our linear obsession with ascending becomes our downfall.
Transition Phases of Life, and Sacrifice
In an information saturated society and technological age, we have been taught the ways – along with many tips and tricks – to achieve what we want, thereby making us very clever.
But something is missing, as we have not been taught what sacrifice or making space means, and the necessity of it. Often we fail because we are not ready ourselves to handle what is to come as we transition from one stage of life to another.
Undoubtedly there are the obvious transition phases in our lives, when a kid grows into an adolescent and into a mature adult, middle adulthood, old age, pregnancy and death.
During each of these transition phases, in order for the new event to be embraced and welcomed, it is clear, inevitable and undeniable that something has to be given up.
Just as a mother gives up the old freedom of her lifestyle to raise a child, a teenager makes numerous sacrifices to embrace what he conceives in his mind – as societally conditioned – as adulthood, whereas an older man relinquishes his impossible dreams as he embraces a new dawn in old age.
However, it is not only during these key milestones of our lives that such sacrifices must be made. As we seek to grow and evolve, we must grow stronger to handle the challenges to come.
This means that we must become aware of what aspects of our old conditioning, habits and identities – that have supported us up to this point – must be relinquished. For what is to come, these aspects of ourselves are no longer resourceful. We must let them go.
This is the concept of making space. By allowing the old to pass, we make space for something new to be manifest. For us to do greater things, we need new thoughts, knowledge, habits and rituals. The deeply subconscious beliefs that hint of a degrading “I am not good enough” must be confronted, undermined and replaced with more supportive, uplifting thoughts.
Thus, we must mourn. As humans, we are wired, conditioned and addicted to certain ways of life most familiar to us; we naturally seek stability and gravitate toward the default.
To mourn goes beyond merely recognising that our default is no longer useful. Instead, it is a conscious effort to feel sadly for these ways of living that were once supportive.
Because we are absolutely certain that we will get better (and we are getting better), we must deeply feel sad that no longer would we stuff junk food and alcohol down our bodies in order to numb ourselves from pain. We must deeply feel sad that the days we indulge in the comfort of our addictions – all of which fuel our needs and are generated by our deepest wounds – are no longer going to be tolerated. We must deeply feel sad that we would no longer let ourselves enjoy the cheap thrill of an egoistical win by hurting others in a needless argument.
The key, though, is not the feeling of sadness, but the awakening of ourselves. It is the process of bringing the wounds deeply embedded in our subconscious into light. The beautiful irony is that the darkness of mourning sheds the light of day upon us. By mourning what is to pass, we go within to negotiate with the inner demons that rule our lives, so that we eventually reach an agreement where they would no longer rule over us.
This ensures that we are adequately prepared for the next phase. We go into the lowliness of our souls, clean up the dirt within our psyches, and thus allow our heavy souls to finally delight in the hopes and possibilities of the skies. Truly, we have become better humans, bringing goodness to ourselves and others.
Yet, we must understand that this does not mean we have escaped our human frailties; we have merely done the necessary work sufficiently to get to this next destination of ours. And when we are ready to move on, the cycle of mourning resumes itself.