Tag Archives: Charles Darwin

Grief, it’s about me — not you.

When we are not courageous enough to adhere to the convictions of our faith and beliefs, grief allows us the out — to wallow in our own smallness.  It is an accepted voice in our head.   When we grieve a loss of life, we grieve for ourselves.  We feel the loneliness that their absence has given us, and we pity ourselves for that loss.  It is easy to be consumed with grief.  To allow every adversity and loss to seep in and control who we are.  We are born of the earth and understand from very early on that physical life is not forever.  It is a cycle.  It is not for us to decide the nature or timing of the death of that physical life.  It is, after all, only a fleeting blink of a life.   Yet, still — we mourn.

 So, what happens to us when our great faith falters?  When we know our loved ones no longer suffer, and that their energy can never die?  It is our own utter misfortune that consumes us.  It blindsides our faith and pushes us back in the direction of our selfish and limited minds.  It is the inevitability of being human.

 Grief is about ego.  It’s about losing sight of the bigger picture.  It’s about the selfish nature of our existence.  What do we grieve for?  We grieve for ourselves.  The dead are not dead — energy cannot be destroyed.  The spirit of the soul — of the one you love — is pure energy.  Even in their physical absence, those that have moved on reach out to teach us this understanding.  They speak to our souls to campaign for the strength of our faith.    

 “Do not stand at my grave and weep, I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow; I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of rain; I am the fields of ripening grain
I am in the morning hush; I am in the graceful rush.
Of beautiful birds in circling flight, I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the flowers that bloom, I am in a quiet room.
I am in the birds that sing, I am in each lovely thing.
Do not stand at my grave and cry, I am not there.  I do not die.”
                                                            ~Mary Elizabeth Frye


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We are all related.

PeggyAnne-Mansfield-31Charles Darwin believed that the involuntary expressions of man were directly influenced by his various emotions and sensations.  He believed that these expressions grew and evolved by means of natural selection from the expressions and behaviours of animals.  He also believed that these expressions, through photographs, would be understood and wordlessly explained by any eyes that looked upon it.  He tested this theory by taking photographs of the expressions of people showing various emotions and then taking those photos to small villages (with limited outside contact) and asked those villagers to guess the emotion of the person in the photograph.    Every villager guessed correctly – without hesitation. 

Emotions are primal.  We understand them when we see them in the faces of people we love, and even those we don’t,  just like in the animal kingdom, as Darwin had proven.  Something that is inately human,  is our preference to ignore most of these emotions.  We ignore the expressions we see that are filled with rage and look away from faces twisted with grief.   We see all of these expressions for a reason, they are built into our design with a purpose.   No matter what language or race you are, you will always find understanding – even if it is not acknowledged through words.

I can’t count how many people have said to me that they never know what to say to someone who seems inconsolable.  If we are all related through expression, perhaps words aren’t what you need. 

What would compassion look like on your face?


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