What is loss really?
What is loss? How do we define it? Is it the simple idea of when we lose something like a toy, a material position, that we love? Is there more to this feeling and emotion? Do we have a fear of losing something or someone we love? The answer is yes and no.
Yes, because it’s not simply about material possessions. No, because the concept behind it is the same. When we lose something we have lost it forever or at least in this human experience, since that is all we really know.
Loss is a word that has a range of feelings – from the want of loss, when you want something to leave your life, to the fear of loss, which is losing something we want to keep.
Some loses are blessings, where as others are the departing of something that we can never experience again. I know this is cryptic, so lets take the blessings first.
Count your Blessings
It’s strange, amazing and miraculous how life turns out sometimes. You could be going to your job every day and, as far as you are concerned, everything is fine. Then you are told that you no longer have a job – cutbacks, bankruptcy, closure of positions, not meeting the expected mark; the reasons are usually the same and repeated throughout every industry.
The initial panic, worry and stress set in – how to provide, what to tell your partner, how will the bills get paid. Then, hopefully, one of two things set in; either you decide that you will go job searching or you see the opportunity to do what you have wanted to do for a while and start your own business, be self employed or go into that venture that a friend mentioned before. Maybe it was your subconscious and that thing that the universe does, to bring those thoughts you were having into your reality.
At other times, it just happens, but the results are the same; either job seeking or a new venture. Serendipity is an odd creature, winding it’s way through our lives like a fine gold thread that we must recognise and grasp.
Only you know when that happens, only you see it when it’s there. It’s a gift specific to you and only you. No one else can tell you or see it for you.
These opportunities we get in life are there to allow us and give us the chance to face the fears we have held, to go in a direction that we have longed for, but we’re not willing to because of the way we think and the beliefs we hold. I say allow, because most of us never dare to face them, because we don’t believe in ourselves and don’t believe that anything better is possible for us.
Losing a part of me
Losing an object or a part of your daily life, such as your job, is the easiest loss that exists. They can be replaced by something better, if we give ourselves the opportunity and the belief that it can.
Losing a part of your body is different. Such a loss is irreplaceable, at the moment; until medicine evolves to the point of replacing a body part, like a lizard that sheds its tail only to grow it back later – I believe that anything is possible.
This physical loss can lead to depression and self doubt to the future. And yet, I have seen many individuals who have faced this loss and risen to levels unimagined – unimagined by them that those levels could be reached. They had a goal, but they far exceeded that goal. They put something in, but got so much more back. That is how nature works.
Look at the acorn or the mustard seed. One is planted and nature returns a plentiful supply, provided that it is cared for, nourished and looked after.
The people that make it through any loss, do just that; they provide themselves with better thoughts and beliefs, nourish their bodies and their thoughts, look after themselves by providing self love, because you can never give something that you don’t already possess.
This loss is irreversible, but it’s also something that we can face because we own it. It’s not external.
That leaves us with one other loss, that is probably one of the hardest things to deal with.
What a thing to experience when we lose the love of someone or something that we hold dear. I’ve seen tears flow down the cheeks of men and women that can go into war and come out unscathed, because of this one loss. A person or a pet.
And this loss is linked to one other fear – the fear of death. A fear based on the unknown, partly on the ego (will I be remembered, how will I be remembered) and on love. This is a personal fear.
But when we lose someone, it changes – it’s no longer about our own mortality, but about the loss of that physical being that we will no longer have the opportunity to say good morning to, good night to or even a hello over the phone.
The loss is personal, it’s selfish. Personal to each of us because of what that someone meant to us and it is different for each one of us. Selfish because it’s about our loss.
Then it’s the fact of their passing, that they are no longer with us, that their life has ended. We can only say that their life has ended in this physical life, because we don’t really know what’s next. That reminds us again of what is to come for us, since that is what we also have to face.
The loss we feel is inevitable, it’s human. We are emotional beings and grief and tears are part of the process. To grieve of the loss of someone we love is a natural healing process. It doesn’t get rid of the emotion, but it does allow us to feel the deep sense of connection we had with that someone
Society shuns this at times. Males don’t cry or don’t cry in public. Women are expected to cry or not in public. Needless to say, society has it wrong. Grief is part of the healing process and tears are part of that.
To lose someone we love is a part of living, of being alive. Some losses are more painful than others. They are not meant to make us stronger, it’s simply a part of life.
At times they are unexpected and that makes the loss have a greater impact than one that has been expected. That does not mean that the pain of the loss is any less, but we also have to deal with the shock of the moment. The impact is harder. We are human and these emotions are part of who we are. It is okay to feel this way. It’s normal.
Marcus Aurelius would remind us that there is no point worrying about our own passing, as it is a part of life. It is inevitable, so why even think about it. Think instead of living a life worth living.
But we still do. We wonder if we will be remembered, if we have made a difference, if we are living a legacy worth leaving, whether we mattered.
The only way to answer that is to look at the present and ask yourself the same questions. If at any point you feel the answer is no, then make a change. Make a decision to do something worth while.
The point is, is that overtime all of us will be lost in time. What does matter is making a positive change that makes a difference to others peoples lives, because that is why we are here, all of us. To serve each other.
Losses are inevitable. It doesn’t mean that we should be hard to it and expect it, and say, “Well, it was bound to happen”, but, look at it as a human being and say, “Thank you for allowing me to experience your life with you”. Because that’s all it really is – experiencing life together.
Each moment counts. Make this moment count.
On death. Either dispersal, if we are atoms: or, if we are a unity, extinction or a change of home.
Think of yourself just as a seed patiently waiting in the earth: waiting to come up a flower in the Gardener’s good time, up into the real world, the real waking. I suppose that our whole present life, looked back on from there, will seem only a drowsy half- waking. We are here in the land of dreams. But cock-crow is coming.