Emotions, Anticipation, and the Tao

I am learning that the anticipation of loss and grieving can cause intense resistance to change. I can see how anticipating facing a period of grief can greatly alter decisions about what I need to do. I end up in a period of being stuck because fear of having to go through loss and grieving outweighs the need change. Sometimes I end up denying the need to change just to avoid loss and grief.

For me, grief is different than what we call suffering. Grieving can also be suffering if it is prolonged, but grieving is a sense of loss and an opening in ones life that feels like it’s permanent. Suffering can manifest itself without sorrow and sadness, it covers many emotional territories. Suffering can live as an intellectual entity or states of anxiety and fear. But grieving, for me, is always accompanied by a sense of sadness and sorrow, a feeling so deep that the heart hurts as though a permanent hole has opened.

This manifests in many ways. Clinging to who I used to be or who I currently think I am because I know in order to move on it will requires grieving over the loss of what I need to move away from. Or perhaps knowing I will lose someone or something I love dearly, I sometimes anticipate grief that I cannot imagine letting go, and cling to a situation that only increases suffering.

It’s a tricky thing, the ability to notice being stuck because I am anticipating a future state. It’s a state of “I don’t feel that way now but am delaying action because of how I may feel in the future.”

I notice that never comes up when the future feeling is joy and happiness. Then there sometimes a sense of wanting to move that block of time between me and the awaited event totally out of the way. I have to be focused on using time instead of rushing through the moments to get to a desired state.

Both Zen and Tao point towards the value of staying in these moments where the body breathes and life is evolving. The future can never be known exactly, the feelings we may or may not have will never be exactly what we imagine. And sometimes we need to experience those stages of grieving and sorrow to grow.

I have noticed this, I only grow and evolve by experiencing the pain, the bitter part of life. This is balanced by the sweet and joyous aspects of an engaged life. A balance if you will. It’s the Yin and Yang and all between.

Take good care of you today, smile and laugh a little.

Bryan Wagner

10 thoughts on “Emotions, Anticipation, and the Tao

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  1. Yes Bryran, I have found the same to be true. The balance of both, yin and yang energies, as we teter between both. It’s in the allowing and surrendering to each that we can either shorten or prolong each emotion. The choice is ours. Beautiful share, such a genuine glimpse into the human condition.

    Liked by 1 person

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