Escaping the Present by Living in the Past: Part 4, How Will I Ever Get Out of This Labyrinth?
In his novel, Looking for Alaska, John Green (2012) reminds readers of the following: “Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia.... You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you’ll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”
Imaging a future without grief is alluring and comforting. In our imaginations, our future can be whatever we want. This nostalgia seduces us to stay in a familiar place, such as “the back corner of the endless maze and to pretend...not to be lost, but home” (Green, 2012). After all, our imagined future is a more peaceful, happier place to be than our painful present.
Recall from earlier posts, we are taught from an early age that grief is something we carry with us for the rest of our lives. According to this cultural myth, the best we can do is to be stoic and to put on a happy face. This belief sustains the inclination to escape from the present and live in a “someday I’ll” future. The irony is by living in the future our pain and suffering may be needlessly prolonged.
The good news is that if we do the necessary work to resolve or complete our grief our imagined future free from grief’s pain and suffering can be realized. Success also rests on putting the past and future where they belong and live in the present.
The Grief Recovery Method® offers a roadmap out of the labyrinth. In a safe and confidential environment and with the assistance of an experienced guide, you will learn how to examine the losses in your life and to discover what was left unsaid or undone and what expectations or dreams were left unrealized. Discovering these unexpressed emotional communications and sharing them allows you to bring your pain and sad feelings to the surface and to let them go, while still retaining cherished memories. By taking these actions, your heart and head will work together to show you the way out of your labyrinth of grief and towards a happier future.
Please call me. I can help.
Green J. Looking for Alaska, 2012. Speak, Penquin Group, Inc.: New York.
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