Discover What is Important to You

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“Truly, it is in the darkness that one finds the light, so when we are in sorrow, then this light is nearest of all to us.”
– Meister Eckhart

A life-affirming aspect of grief that many people do not fully take advantage of is that it creates a stark opportunity to figure out what is important to them so that they can structure their lives in such a way that these things take center stage. I interpret the light in Eckhart’s quote above to be the path to self-actualization, which becomes much clearer when all the distractions of daily life are swept to one side thanks to the experience of profound loss.

Many of us spend the majority of our lives at the superficial level worrying about things that won’t even matter to us in a few months or years. Sometimes it takes a powerful shock, like an experience that occasions grief, to make us reevaluate our priorities.

Some feel guilty about focusing on their own growth when they have lost someone close to them, as if they are betraying the memory of this person in some way. But if they loved you they would surely applaud any effort you make to improve your life, and would be proud that their life meant enough to you that the foundations of how you see the world are shaking, that you are discovering through your loss what is most important to you.

Making positive life changes because of a loss is building a monument to that person as surely as mourning them is, and more so actually because your actions from here on out, actions that will ripple through the world and have an effect on others, will carry the person you have lost along for the ride, since these actions would not have occurred without them.