Facing Loss

You can run, but you can’t hide. No matter how hard we try, we cannot run away from our pain or from the pain of loss. Eventually, it catches up with us. And when it does, we must turn and face it squarely in the eye and embrace it as a part of the whole of life. All it asks is that we be true to what makes us unique; that we allow for, and respond to, our feelings, and accept that there is an order to life, much of which is out of our control.

As part of the human experience, the grief and mourning which accompany loss permit us to honour the people and events that have shaped our lives. Facing loss can be both the most painful and liberating thing we can do in life. This I have come to understand through my own experience. If you pay attention to nature, it is occurring on a moment by moment basis. Each time a leaf falls from a tree, a bird drops a feather; indeed, a sun sets in preparation for the night, there is loss. And yet, each of these events also contributes to the perennial unfolding of our world as we know it.

Daily we face loss as that which we desire fails to materialise in the time or way we expected. Whether something as small as the farewell that held too little warmth or sincerity, or the work that just missed the mark, or some, much more life-altering event; as when a loved one dies, a dream or business falls short, or a relationship ends, we are faced with loss. Disguised in the loss is the opportunity for personal growth, some new experience, a chance to acknowledge who and what we are grateful for, or the recognition that ‘your work here is done’, and it’s time to move on for the next step in your journey.

But first, we must allow ourselves to stop and reflect, to honour our pain and acknowledge our feelings, to learn from the experience before letting it go and moving forward. It is only our judgement of ourselves and each other that would suggest that this was not okay. And it is this judgement that gets in the way of letting go and being open to receiving that which awaits us. All too often we relate to the steps in the journey as if they were the destination itself, limiting ourselves and engendering fear in the new life that beckons us onward.

If we trusted, as nature does, that every moment is perfect, then all struggle would cease in a heartbeat. Then there would be nothing to resist, no need to deny the truth of how we feel, merely opportunities to respond to and the emotional resources to bring the best of ourselves to bear on the challenges before us.

Inner Sense No. 5 | August 2007 – updated June 2019


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