Journeys on the Wheel

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We make our daily rounds on the Wheel of Life.






Some journeys around the Wheel are longer.






There is wisdom in the Wheel.

The Daily Wheel          

These phases do not always take days, weeks, or even months to occur. They happen daily, sometimes within a span of hours or minutes. To see the wheel in action, we only have to observe ourselves on an ordinary day. It may begin well enough. We are in good spirits at the top of the wheel but once caught in the traffic jam on the way to work the wheel turns. We fall into stress, frustration, and anger. Arriving at work only few negative comments from the boss regarding our job performance and we are in a state of suffering imagining our termination in the current company downsize. Soon, however, an associate praises our efforts on a recent project and spirits of hopeful expectation rise and soar towards happiness. This cycle continues several times over the course of any typical day. It may be intensified into longer periods of days, weeks, and in which we stay at one position awaiting the turning of the wheel. The wheel seems stuck, especially, if we are at loss or suffering.

Grief: A Longer Cycle        

Grief is an example of a longer cycle. The death of a loved one catapults a person into loss. Such loss is characterized by deep sadness but, surprisingly, often involves anger. Anger ranges from being mad at the person who died for not taking better care of their health to blaming God for the death of the loved one. Anxiety often arises over living alone, assuming financial responsibility, and coping with the caring efforts of others. In grief people sometimes avoid the "suffering" that is required to heal. Denial of the loss is seen as rooms and closets are left unchanged as if in expectation of a return. Tears are fought back with a "stiff upper lip." Discussion of the deceased is avoided, pictures are put away, and the gravesite rarely or never visited. These are efforts to stop the wheel or to turn it back. They only delay or intensify the inevitable suffering.

In engaging the suffering a person allows tears and memories to flow. Stories of good and bad times are told and picture albums abound. Frequent grave side visits allow "conversation" and the expression of needed emotions. Good-byes are said. Unfinished and maybe somewhat unpleasant business can be completed. Closets are cleaned. Goodwill is visited. Through a full experiencing of the loss with all of its ramifications, resolution is achieved. Progress is made and the wheel turns towards hope.

With hope comes energy. Dark clouds lessen and the bright but delicate rays of a future life without the loved one are visible. Spring-like hope brings forth positive new expectations. A new but different normalcy is achieved. The possibility of happiness at the top of the wheel is approached.

If we do not understand the wisdom of the wheel about the changes of living and the four phases that we normally and naturally move through, then we have unrealistic expectations of life.

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