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You Chose Grief -- How to Deal With Being Alive

Updated: Feb 18

A flying ghost.

"This will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of Kenobi. It will soon see the end of the Rebellion". -- Darth Vader


A Dance with Impermanence

Everything that you chose to be attached to, will either end with your demise or with its demise. Therefore, when attachment is chosen, and unless your own death prevents said attachment -- you chose grief.

By choosing to adopt a pet, by choosing to marry, the same applies. You have chosen to love something, whose ultimate absence will cause you grief, unless you are to die yourself beforehand.

That is how existence is. For even the longest and most enduring of loves will diminish by the death of at least one of the participants. In the evident absence of immortality, by choosing to love someone, you also choose your own, inevitable possibility of a heartbreak.

Aren't all ends that are not desireable, heartbreaking? Of course they are. And yet, there is no good thing that cannot come to an end. Choose your loyalty to it, and the finity of reality will take it away from you eventually. And there is nothing you can do about it.

Be it lovers, be it friends, be it family. If they do not go away by treachery, they go away, either way, by the fact that none of them are everlasting. All the people that you cared for, including pets, are set to wither away. And there is nothing you can do to permenantly prevent it.

Accept realtiy, and you can better live according to it, knowing that fear of abandonment is a fear of something that is about to happen either way. Why should we be afraid of the inevitable, when we are powerless against it? Death will make everyone forsake us. Death, will make us grieve as much as it would like to.

It is, therefore, futile to rebel against it, under the assumption that we can overthrow its universal tyranny on all life. There is no eternity in the physical world, since nothing in it is invincible, nor immortal. Choose to be attached to something or someone in it, and you'll choose grief.

Therefore, attachment is not only the source of much suffering, but also of grief, even to things which make you feel happy, proud and purposeful. Decrease your attachment from things and beings you don't need, and you will have less grief. Shower the world and everyone with innocent love, and you'll be deep in sorrow eventually, when you'll ultimately be left to your own devices.

A Meditation on Mortality

Since I am sensitive to this inevitable reality, I have chosen a path with fewer attachments. Disappointment, therefore, has become a distant guest. This awareness extends beyond the realm of personal relationships; I understand that nothing, not even the memory of my own existence, can escape the inevitable tide of time.

The only person I have as much is myself, just like all of you do. Loving oneself... seem more rational than loving another, whether or not doing so would even lead to a better capacity of loving another.

Meaning, I believe, is a fickle flame, flickering brightly but prone to sudden extinguishment. It is this very impermanence that makes chasing it a most-futile dance, potentially inflicting deep wounds on our hearts, making us almost-inevitably broken people. Meaning, if anything, deserves only to be worked on for the long-term. Have a meaning extend your own lifespan, and you've secured yourself a potential source of purposefulness that will provide you with satisfaction for the reminder of your life.

It is also... why love may deserve to be secondary, and a lifelong work, be primary, if we want to suffer less by the heartbreak of impermanence. It's also a reason, to live for work, and not work to live. An organized collective based on love, such as family under marriage, can slowly decay once the emotions involved are no longer a feature.

And emotions are such short-term, fleeting components... Basing relationsips, for instance, exclusively on them, is like living in a house that is dirty of gasoline fluid. Once a trigger occurs, the whole foundation can burn to the ground.

In order to better deal with the mortality of life... we must look beyond our own lives. That can only be done should we learn to look beyond our emotions, and focus on grander visions for our organizations and other communities. Where the emotion of love and excitement wither, a greater plan, does not. And logic, in etymology, also means, "plan" (AKA "logos"). This is why reasoning will always outlast any foundation that is built on emotion.

And why should we plan for the short-term, if we want to reduce the pains of broken hearts? Why build our hearts just to see them broken again? Why not be more calculated, and find sources of meaning that can very much outlast our own lives, thus likely not ending before we die?

Life, in its very essence, is a pact with death. No living being has yet to defy this ultimate surrender. This knowledge casts a long shadow, even over our own demise, for it will undoubtedly cause grief to those who hold us dear.

The only "way" we can beat Death is not by gaining immortality, for that is too unrealistic. The only way is to work towards things that exceed our own lives, and therefore, do not end, not before us, and not with us.

When a lover dies before us, the heartache is doom to be ours. When we die after the lover, the lover is doomed to suffer after we die. We create this cycle even in a more intense way, when we choose to live for love, and not to live for anything that isn't an emotion. Of course we may love them after they die. But our love will never reach them, once they are dead.

My journey, instead, is to embrace life fully until its natural conclusion, as a time for me to work, for I believe in using the present to honor my and other people's future.

Two Questions For The Readership

Choosing to bring life into this world is, in essence, choosing a dance with grief, a gamble where the dice of fate might roll against you or those you cherish. The question, then, becomes one of resilience: Are we strong enough to endure the inevitable sorrow that life brings? Also, we should ask ourselves: What can we do to reduce that sorrow?

Contemplating on these questions, may help you endure life, better.

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Tomasio A. Rubinshtein, Philosocom's Founder & Writer

I am a philosopher from Israel, author of several books in 2 languages, and Quora's Top Writer of the year 2018. I'm also a semi-hermit who has decided to dedicate his life to writing and sharing my articles across the globe. Several podcasts on me, as well as a radio interview, have been made since my career as a writer. More information about me can be found here.

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