The Importance of Mourning... Even In The Smaller Things

I was reading Esther the other day and it was struck by the veracity with which Mordecai mourned. This got me thinking about how in our western culture we’ve lost the importance of and in many cases the ability to mourn. The whole “fake it till you make it”, “don’t dwell on the negative”, and “think positively” ideas have become mantras for us. And while I know there is truth behind each of those statements, like anything, when left unchecked, they can push out the powerful emotion of sadness and mourning that must be given its space if we want to have a healthy heart. Too many times I hear people apologizing for tears, and I find myself saying please don’t apologize. If there are tears, they need to flow because when we stop them from coming to the surface, then we damn up something that will eventually come out in an unhealthy manner like chronic anger or rage, or passivity and numbness. So we must mourn.

And there are many things that deserve to be mourned: relationships ending, going from one stage of life to another (even if it’s a positive change there will still be a loss experienced), pets dying, children growing up and not needing you like they used to (if that isn’t addressed and mourned then an unhealthy relationship so easily can form out of trying to keep it as it once was), and countless other losses we experience in life. When was the last time your mourned? I not saying we have to put on sack cloth and ashes, but I’m not saying we shouldn’t either. We must give pain it’s due time so that we can more fully embrace the joy that also surrounds us. Years ago I heard Brene Brown say something along the lines of to the degree that we numb pain and sorrow, we also numb it’s opposite. So the less I embrace the pain, the less I experience the joy. And I don’t want to miss any of the joy in life. When we’re tempted to suck it up and move on, we must stop and let our selves feel what our heart is experiencing. Walling up the hard emotions will also wall up the blissful ones too, and I can tell you from experience, living with your heart behind a wall is no way to live....

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