A Prayer for Closure
SRF Meditation Gardens, Encinitas CA
The loss of a loved one preys on the mind and heart. If the loss is the result of death, we mourn for a period of time then feel relieved that the soul of that person still exists on a different level of being.
If, on the other hand, the loss is through the deterioration of a relationship, the heart continues to hold hope that a reconciliation might occur. Though we may disagree with decisions made by loved ones, we can still love them and wish them well.
Agreeing to Disagree
It is true that reconciliation might become impossible in some circumstances. For example, if your friend does not approve of your choice of living room furniture, you can probably stay friends. You can even heap on many more divergences of this kind and still remain friends.
However, if your friend takes up a vegetarian lifestyle or begins practicing a religion you do not understand, it is not likely that your friendship will continue, unless you remain open-minded enough to at least make an effort to understand why your friend has made these odd choices.
The very least the meat-consuming atheist and the religious vegetarian must do to continue a friendship is agree to disagree.
If you take every opportunity to ridicule your friend for her choices, it is likely that she will end her friendship with you. Lifestyle and religion form a foundation for our personalities and values.
The greatest enemy of a harmonious relationship is willful misunderstanding. When one person deliberately assigns false meaning to the values of the other, perhaps to shore up her own position and swab her own ego, it becomes likely that that relationship might have to end.
If one does not attempt to understand the different values and/or behavior of the other and then continues to oppress the other with ridicule and attitudes of superiority, again there might be no other solution than ending the relationship.
Along with lifestyle and religious choice, political choice might also figure into this equation.
We are not made to be doormats. If a person does not accept our values, we can understand that, but we cannot accept a relationship wherein we become the constant butt of sarcasm directed at our most cherished values.
If a person has taken a wrong turn—in life or even in driving—it does not put her on the right course to belittle her choice. You simply need to show her where the turn was wrong.
In order to do that, you must know where the correct turn is and then share that information with her. If the person you have properly corrected prefers the wrong choice, then you have to decide if you can live with it or not. If not, then you leave that person to her course and go your own way.
Sometimes we get bogged down, even lost, in details; many times the kind of language we use separates us from other people. But ultimately the deterioration of a relationship can be blamed on selfishness—the kind of selfishness that seeks sense gratification and ego aggrandizement.
If we believe that our main goal in life is to seek sense pleasures and ego stroking, we will show little or no regard to others. It becomes our duty to get what we want regardless of the effect on other people.
Two Groups of Humanity
Humanity can be divided into two distinct groups: Those who seek to realize the true self and those who seek the false goals of ego aggrandizement. It should be abundantly clear that the latter leads to torment, while the former leads to peace, wisdom, and bliss.
We can acquire large quantities of money, which affords sense pleasures, and wide-spread fame, which strokes the ego, and still be so miserable that we are driven to suicide. Can you name any rich, famous persons who have committed suicide? Can you name any long-term monks or nuns who have committed suicide?
I have subtitled this essay “Prayer for Closure.” You may be wondering how this is a prayer—I have not asked God for anything. I am a writer, and when I write, God is already giving me what He wants me to have. God knows when our hearts are troubled, and if we truly demand of God a balm for that pain, He gives it. By writing these thoughts I am in the act of praying—that is, demanding from God—that balm.
If you do not believe in God, you may substitute “Conscience” or “Truth” and for “praying” you may substitute “seeking.”
So this is my prayer for closure for myself and all of you who have experienced pain owing to the death of a loved one or a lost relationship with a loved one.
Questions & Answers
© 2017 Linda Sue Grimes