Thursday, December 29, 2011

Purging Regret

I once read that people who live the longest, happiest lives are those who cope with loss the best. Even though loss is part of life, people cope with it differently. How often do we hear of the person who dies within months of losing a spouse? It makes you wonder if a person really can die of a broken heart.  I came across a fascinating blog post by Susan Elliot “Searching and Pining Behavior”...

"Pining is the subjective and emotional component of urge to search for the lost object". ~ Colin Murray Parkes

 “Colin Murray Parkes was a grief expert who studied the phases of grief and the behavior in those who are grieving. Searching behavior often explains why people try to connect with those whom they have just lost to death….but when the person is still out there, still “reachable” it makes it difficult to suspend contact and simply let the searching compulsion pass without doing anything about it.

Parkes was one of the first to analogize human searching behaviors to that of animal species that mate for life. Parkes quotes Konrad Lorenz who studied the “searching” behavior in the Greylag goose who would search for a mate even if the mate had been killed in plain sight. The goose will fly great distances, calling and wailing for the lost partner, often going such great distances as to get lost or injured in an accident. The frantic goose was detrimental to itself, unable to give up the search for the mate that was lost.” - Susan Elliot

I have pined long enough!  My birthday is New Years Day. In the days before my birthday I will typically clean out closets, drawers, and give things away I didn't use that year; I purge. As this year ends, I choose to purge regret. If I have one resolution for the New Year it will be that I embrace my vulnerability and open my heart again.

Happy New Year!

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