Equal and Opposite

Why is it that we (I) invest so much trying to avoid loss? Loss is inevitable, inescapable. If you lived long enough you would see everyone you knew vanish, the houses you lived in, your favorite restaurants, mountains; you could watch the sun flare out, and then the stars and eventually the universe would probably rush back in on itself. Some cultures celebrate death, the passing on of friends, family, and loved ones; our advanced civilization seems to have institutionalized anguish instead of reverence, acceptance, or appreciation for what one had. There are of course situational dynamics to consider. Tragic, violent, or unexpected loss would certainly be of a different hue, and it would be ignorant at best to belittle expressions of intense mourning over such events; but it seems that loss avoidance is often the underlying motivation of behavior. Loss isn’t confined to death or interpersonal relationships either. We (I) are attached to places, times, feelings – I’m beginning to realize just how selfish the constant pursuit of permanence is. As I’m mostly talking about myself here, constantly framing the past with all its people, things, and events in relation to yourself (myself) is kind of an unfair appropriation, a jealous clinginess that is quite literally wasted emotion. Ceaseless pining doesn’t do much for personal growth. Again, there is certainly room for equivocation and specialized circumstances, but looking back fondly is a different thing than disconsolate yearning.

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