Journal

Journal Entry – Thu Nov 5

Today I’d like to talk about rainbathing.

I don’t understand why this isn’t a thing! Everyone loves sunbathing so much that rainbathing doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. Well no more!!! (🎢Rainy days. Rainy, rainy, rainy days. Ain’t nothing better in the world you know, than lying in the rain with your (Spotify) radio🎢). (Lighthouse). The next time there’s a deluge, promise me you will go outside and get some rain!

As you know, every now and then, I will rant about words. Word rant time! πŸ™‚ KEMOW should be a word (50 points), as in KEMOWTHERAPY. I have a love hate relationship with Scrabble and I spend a lot of time thinking about words and the arrangement of those words; In my worklife, homelife and writinglife. Which can be fun and frustrating as hell!

My boss told me I take things literally. He was like, “Let me rephrase that because you take everything literally.” I laughed, as it brought back memories of some of my exes. We’d always end up in arguments because I’d be accused of putting words in their mouths. I’d hear something like, “that’s not what I said.” My response, “but you did though!” I dissect everything and make connections where, according to them, there is none. I’d also get, “how did you come to that conclusion?” “Logically.” is my reply. πŸ™‚

Sometimes people make connections with their words and they don’t even realize it. Once I was talking to a guy at work. There was something he didn’t want to do so he says something like, “Get someone else to do it. A monkey can do it. Why don’t you ask a developer?” I said, “You just called developers monkeys.” and he looked at me like, “what the hell are you talking about stupid!” I have so many examples of that in my life.

I love the fact that I am more aware now, and I have been for a while. This awareness causes me to ask questions and seek clarification – instead of putting words in people’s mouths. I don’t believe that this affects me negatively. But I guess it may force people to really think about what they want to say and how they say it, when they are talking to me – which may be painful for them. But I do that all the time. That’s why it takes me so long to write a damn email! (inside I’m screaming, “It’s just a few sentences. God! What’s wrong with you!?”) I will even play out conversations in my head, running through different scenarios, before having the actual convo.

I think too much and feel it all πŸ™‚ I used to think this was a bad thing but as I get older it makes me happier.


Lecture 12: The Goodness of Grief

Have you ever heard of Kisa Gotami, the character from a Buddhist story? Kisa had a good life. She was married with a baby boy but just as he was learning to walk, he died. Overcome with grief, Kisa never left her baby. She’d walk around town with his body, searching for a way to bring him back. Of course, everyone freaked out at the sight of her and her baby boy. One day, a kind townie told her to go see the Buddha for advice. Upon meeting with the Buddha, the first thing Kisa asked for was a cure. The Buddha responded … Go find a pinch of mustard seed from a household untouched by the suffering of death. Bring it back, and I will help you.

Kisa heads back into town, checking with all the residents, but she gets the same answer … We have mustard seeds, but the suffering of death has touched us as well. The living are few, but the dead are many. This leads Kisa to the realization that death is inescapable. She returns to the Buddha without the mustard seed. The one thing she needed to bring back her son. The Buddha comforted Kisa, emphasizing the universality of death and suffering, and she saw the truth in his words. Kisa said goodbye to her son, put him to rest in the charnel ground and returned to the Buddha to become a nun. One night, while watching the flickering of a lantern, she thought, human life is like that flame. Flickering in and out. Kisa meditated on this and was enlightened.

For Buddhists, Kisa’s story offers insight into many areas of life, including the impermanence of all things and the pervasiveness of suffering. As you probably suspected, we will use the story to explore grief. Kisa’s story is powerful because she experiences grief that disrupts her life. Still, once she overcomes it, it also transforms her life.

Grief is an emotional response to any significant loss – the loss of a relationship, career, ability, loved one. We will focus on the latter because this is the most intense kind of grief. Grief is painful and paralyzing, and it can cause us to act in ways that we may not recognize – but if grief also transforms (in the right way), then it is not just part of our dark side. To clarify, grief is a mental state, whereas mourning is the behaviours or external expression associated with grief. Anger, fear, and sadness can also accompany grief.

Now! When you lose your loved one, what exactly is it that you are grieving over? The object of our grief isn’t the person who died (which is the first answer that comes to mind). Our distress is associated with the loss of the relationship we had with that person. Grief is usually associated with intimate relationships because we don’t grieve at everyone’s death (if you do then something is wrong with you – just saying).

Seneca on Grief – The Stoic philosopher worries about the goodness of grief. Seneca thinks grief is a type of disorder that can be more or less extreme, depending on how you deal with it. If your grief lasts too long, then “you are punishing yourself for your misfortune in a way that compounds misery.” Death is neither injustice nor injury. From the stoic perspective, all that matters is virtue. Health is not something good. It is something indifferent. Same for death.

What if you could somehow avoid grieving at the loss of a loved one? Do you think that we’d be better for it? Or would we miss out on a transformation? Researcher Michael Cholbi thinks we’d lose out on the opportunity to gain some knowledge of self (k-os). When someone we love dies, we’re forced to reflect and reevaluate our own life. Grief triggers self-reflection because, as we grieve, we cycle through many different emotions.

(Source: Great Courses – Understanding the Dark Side of Human Nature)


So … Grieve on. But don’t stay too long, cause you gotta get back to living your life and loving the people who are still alive . That’s my take away from this lecture.

Feature Photo Credit: @MPstockart via Twenty20

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