We never know when a moment will change our lives.
We can feel anything we want about losing something. Our experiences are meant to show us how we feel, not tell us how to feel.
Loss is a trip wire, a trap, and a tightrope. But it’s also the jaws of life for our mangled lives, tearing apart what’s encased our hearts.
Loss almost kills us and keeps us acutely alive. It gives us a shot of morphine. Then, sets us on fire.
Loss shifts when it goes from a passive ‘life is changed by loss’ to ‘loss changes lives.’ The moment when we keep going, and we find ourselves in a clearing from days, months, or years lost in the woods. When loss changes the way we look at life. ‘Look at this clearing! I would’ve never known this was here if I hadn’t kept going.’
We live through loss until we are even a little bit found. Loss, by narrow margins, morphs into something we can describe as life-changing. From passive to active to interactive. We’re discovering now.
Here are ten life-changing discoveries about loss:
1. It’s okay not to have hope.
This point of view could lose a lot of people. But keep an open mind.
Hope doesn’t help us with what we have. What we have is the only thing we know, and we need to be okay with knowing where we are. Not as a stopgap but as a mainstay. Then, and only then, could it be the genesis of hope.
2. Start where it doesn’t make sense.
When things fall apart, it’s okay to accept where we are. There aren’t any magical ways to tidy up loss. Healing is in the simple act of picking up each piece (or not) as we reach it.
We don’t have to make anything mean more. It’s how something starts to have more meaning. We start where it doesn’t make sense.
3. No one knows when they’ll be okay.
But it doesn’t mean we won’t be. We’ll be many things. Everything doesn’t have to be positive or negative. Everything is something we’re getting to know. Life doesn’t have to get better for us to be here.
4. Staying put is a start.
Every self-improvement advice under the sun tells us to move on when we’re stuck. If we want to go we have to stay. At least long enough to see the other side.
5. But keep going, too.
Everything is closer than it seems. Our courage, resolve, and strength. We only have to do it for a moment. Then another and so forth. There isn’t any time to waste.
When we experience profound loss, there’s a sense of guilt paired with a sense to keep going. We have guilt about laughter, love, or living.
The most authentic way to honor grief is to keep going.
Everything is closer than it seems. Even our fear we’ll forget.
6. After all, fear isn’t a fight.
Facing fear isn’t fighting it, but coming close and giving it a good look. It’s not turning away. Only then will we hear what it has to say.
Seeing fear face-to-face gets us close enough to hear its voice, and it tells us more than we think it will.
7. Rest isn’t a guilty pleasure.
Relaxing into our lives is the cure for running away. It doesn’t make us lazy or boring. It gives us a boost for being here.
Running away doesn’t get us further ahead, it only takes us further away from the heartbeat of what we have. We hear our profound, normal rhythm when we’re at rest.
8. Happiness isn’t necessary to heal.
What do we need to recover? The truth is, anything can heal.
We have an incentive for staying present and open. We don’t want to miss it. Of course, we do too. But also not.
9. There’s no limit to loss.
It’s some of the best and worst news. There’s no way to know what we’ll lose. But there’s no way to know what we’ll gain, either. We’ll touch deep pain and real potential. We’ll have days where the best stuff is limitless.
10. There’s no life after loss.
Life is about living with, not about getting away from. Learning to show up along with what comes into our lives. Letting go of control is living with clarity. There’s no life after anything, but life with what is.
Add one of your life-changing discoveries about loss in the comments!