When grief is not resolved, as it eventually should be, grievers can develop a relationship to their pain, as if their identity hinged on regarding themselves as unhappy. Many people become so familiar with those painful feelings that they are afraid to let them go. This information is shared for your awareness so that something of this nature does not happen to you.
Incomplete relationships create unresolved grief... and unresolved grief creates incomplete relationships.
Some of us have very long-term relationships to emotional pain. We may have unresolved "loss-of-trust" experiences from childhood that keep us in an almost perpetual state of acceptance of pain as a permanent condition. Many of us keep dragging the unfinished relationships of our past into all of our new relationships, then acting surprised when they always end the same. We may be ill-equipped to deal with the feelings caused by the end of each new relationship, and we may be unaware that almost all of our past relationships are incomplete or unresolved.
If the intellect were the key to successful recovery then we would be able to think ourselves well. We would be able to rationalize and 'understand' ourselves into better actions. Clearly that does not work. Unresolved grief is cumulative and negative. We must learn how to grieve and complete relationships that have ended or changed. It may sound simple, and it is simple. Why then, do so many people resist taking the simple and clearly-defined actions to bring about recovery? The more familiar we become with our pain, the more likely that familiarity will create the powerful illusion that change is not necessary and that growth is not possible.
Happiness may become an unwelcome intruder in how one relates to oneself. Access to our own happiness is directly linked to our ability to grieve and complete our relationships with people and events, as well as our ability to grieve and complete our relationship to the pain we generate when we are reminded of the unhappiness we have experienced in our lives.
Many of us say, over and over, that if only this or that would happen I could be happy. The thing might be love or money or success or fame. And yet, how often do we get the very thing we wanted and wind up as unhappy as we were before, and even more disillusioned?
To rediscover your ability to be happy, you must go back and grieve and complete all of the incomplete relationships from your past. As you do so, you will begin to find your normal and natural desire and ability to be happy.
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