Thursday, 7 January 2016

Quote of the Day: On grief, and joy


"In this culture we display a compulsive avoidance of difficult matters and an obsession with distraction. Because we cannot acknowledge our grief, we’re forced to stay on the surface of life. Poet Kahlil Gibran said, 'The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.' We experience little genuine joy in part because we avoid the depths. We are an ascension culture. We love rising, and we fear going down. Consequently we find ways to deny the reality of this rich but difficult territory, and we are thinned psychically. We live in what I call a 'flat-line culture,' where the band is narrow in terms of what we let ourselves fully feel. We may cry at a wedding or when we watch a movie, but the full-throated expression of emotion is off-limits. ... 
    "This life we have is incredibly short, but we’ve been blessed with it. When we shut off our grief, we forget that. To let grief work its alchemy on you yields gravitas, by which I mean the ability to be present with the bittersweet reality of life, which always includes loss. There’s no way to be spared sorrow. I wouldn’t even wish that upon someone. But we shouldn’t get stuck in our grief; it’s not a permanent address but a companion that walks beside us. Everything I love, I will lose. That’s the harsh truth. You either have to shut down your heart — and miss the love that is around you — or wrestle with that truth and come out the other end. There is indeed such a thing as joyful sorrow."
~ Clinical psychologist Francis Weller, from the interview 'The Geography Of Sorrow: Francis Weller On Navigating Our Losses'
Hat tip to Amanda Palmer, who adds this:

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