When you grieve for something – or someone – that you have lost, or don’t have, you are perhaps missing the bigger picture. You are missing focusing on what you have!
We had coffee with a friend over the weekend. She recalled her visit to the Gandhi Ashram, on the banks of the Sabarmati, in Ahmedabad some years back and told us about how a quote on gratitude at the ashram changed her thinking completely. The quote, she recalled, read, “When there is gratitude, there can be no grief.”
I can’t agree with that quote more. The nature of Life is that what is today will not be there tomorrow. With birth, death is certain. So Life itself is a limited period offer. While it is natural to grieve over loss, of someone or some thing, grieving endlessly pushes you into a depressive spiral. Grief has to be understood as a natural emotion, a response that arises with any loss. But you must value that grieving over what isn’t is pointless. What is over is over. What is lost is lost. It is gone. Stay with the grief to mourn the loss. But move on. And if you can’t move on, learn to be grateful for whatever is (left), whatever you have with you. This sense of gratitude alone will help you overcome your grief.
To be sure, there is no harm in grieving. But there’s no use either. With every moment that you spend grieving, you are missing a moment to live. The truth is that Life is happening for you, around you, 24×7, irrespective of whether you are grieving or whether you are enjoying it. It is up to you to decide what you want to do with your Life. With gratitude, your problems don’t recede, they don’t go away, what is lost cannot be always gained back (certainly not instantaneously), but you can at least avoid missing – losing – the magic and beauty that each new moment contains.