Preventing Grief

The basis of all mourning and loss is attachment, plus the denial of the transitory nature of all relationships.

We can begin by looking at our lives, identifying those areas of attachment, and asking ourselves: “What internal needs are they satisfying? What feeling would come up if I were to lose them? How can my inner emotional life be balanced so as to decrease the extent, degree, and number of attachments on external objects and people?” The greater our attachment to that which is outside of ourselves, the greater is our overall level of fear and vulnerability to loss. We can ask ourselves why we feel so incomplete. “Why am I so empty within myself that I have to search for solutions in the form of attachment and dependency on others?”

We can begin to look at our own inner areas of immaturity. Specifically, we need to examine: “Where am I looking to get love rather than to give it?” The more loving we are, the less vulnerable we are to grief and loss, and the less we need to seek attachments. When we have acknowledged and let go of all negative feelings, and we have graduated from smallness to the recognition of our greatness so that our internal joy comes from the pleasure of giving and loving, then we are really invulnerable to loss. When the source of happiness is found within, we are immune to the losses of the world.

…By constantly letting go of our negative feelings, we thus cure present pain and prophylactically prevent the occurrence of future pain. Fear is replaced by trust and with it comes a profound sense of wellbeing. Immunity to grief of loss occurs when we replace dependence on the small self (the personality) with dependence on the Self (the Divinity within). We look for security to the Self, which is eternal, instead of to the small self, which is transitory. 

Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender, Ch. 5, pg. 83-84