Grief, Ego, and Principles

“Mostly it is loss which teaches us about the worth of things.” -Arthur Schopenhauer.

I cannot express this sentiment in better words. When you lose something, or particularly, someone, that is exceedingly important, an extreme paradigm shift occurs, rather rapidly. Which can be excruciating, but as Carl Jung said, “There is no coming to consciousness without pain.”

Your whole view of the world can transform in an instant, thus influencing your priorities in life. This is why I believe many people, not all, go through mid-life crises. Around this time in most people’s lives, is when they start to “lose” loved ones, typically parents or other important figures in their life so far. When this occurs, as it will to all of us in due time, the aforementioned paradigm shift happens. Most people then realize they’ve been guiding their life by less valuable principles, such as: popularity, pleasure, money, etc. causing them to break down. Not only are they grieving the loss of the loved one, but the loss of who they once thought they were.

Those who struggle with midlife crises, rather than learning from this, dig their heels in deeper into their former way of life out of fear of facing the falsehoods they’ve based their whole world around. The ego dominates. This phenomenon happens in other ways as well, such as someone staying with a partner that adds negativity to their life. The fear of admitting they “wasted” 10, 20, 30 years with the wrong person is too much for the fragile ego to handle. So they stay.

In a way, this makes loss at a much younger age a blessing in disguise. You’ve already learned the hard way what is and is not important before you’ve had the time to base your whole entire life around poor principles for decades. Resulting in others saying, “You’re so mature for your age.” or “You’re wise beyond your years.” … Well, yes. I received a painful and extreme paradigm shift at a young age. What a waste that would be if I hadn’t adjusted my actions accordingly or at least learned lessons from it. Which unfortunately is the case for some people, even if they experience loss at a young age.

You have to face the unsightly grief. Delve into all of the horrendous thoughts and feelings you are experiencing to figure out why you are thinking/feeling this way. Once you know why, you can start to work through it. Remember: The problem is never the problem, dig deeper until you strike diamonds (the true why). –Therapy is marvelous for this.

Only then can you truly start to heal, it may take years; It took me over 7. Re-evaluating and adjusting the principles you base your life off of are a part of the healing process. Along with deciding where you are going to spend your very limited time and energy.

With that being said, where do your priorities truly lie? Are you truly satisfied with your life now? If you aren’t satisfied with your life today, chances are you won’t be satisfied with it tomorrow either. It will take time and personal development to change this. No quick fixes exist in life, no matter how much you want them to.

If after reading this you realize you have based your life off of trivial principles, I suggest facing your frightening thoughts and feelings, preferably through therapy, and recognize that it is okay, normal and healthy in fact, to make mistakes. As you work through these thoughts and feelings, you can start to decide where you want to reallocate your remaining time and energy. Life is a journey that is not linear, nor is anything in life permanent. You don’t need to lose someone either to experience this paradigm shift. You can always choose to change course.

Here is a link to BetterHelp for online therapy. This link gives you and I both a FREE week. Let’s help each other.

I have another post coming soon on what principles I now base all of my life choices on.

As always, thank you so much for reading. I hope you find healing and your purpose.

Feel free to share this with whomever you think may need it.

-Meghan

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