My brother-in-law’s mother passed away, who he sadly had not seen in nearly a decade because of the restrictive policies of a dictatorial government in his home country.
One of my dear clients unbelievably lost a close colleague one week, then her father the following week.
Another client, who transforms loss into life—her work focuses on connecting the families of donors to organ transplant recipients—had to work with the families of a record-setting 7 organ donors in a single week.
A third client lost a close friend to cancer.
And that’t not all.
Losses come in many forms. Death. Bankruptcy. Divorce. Heartbreak. Lost opportunities.
But, what do we make of them? And what lessons and opportunities can we harvest from loss?
Sadly, losses are one of the hardest teachers of the need to “let go.” Most losses are out of your control. While having control helps you to feel stable, steady, confident, secure, it is also a false front. The more you can learn to let go—especially of the “when” and “how” life unfolds, the less stress you will have and the more joy you’ll experience from the surprises that come unexpectedly.
Remember what is most important.
A loss forces you to pause and reflect upon what is most important in life. What that is might be different for you than for others, but often we are reminded about Love and Forgiveness and being present for the simple flow of everyday life—the details that weave their way in-between the birthdays and holidays and milestone events. Sadly, we are often painfully reminded of what we have taken for granted.
Loss is a reminder that things can end at any moment and that you must live fully so you do not one day have regrets. So, what have you not yet done in life? Where do you want to travel? Who do you want to kiss? What leap of faith is calling to you? What change does your heart desire? Seize the day! Carpe diem!
In the practice of yoga, we are reminded of the importance of beginnings, middles and ends, as well as all the space in-between. In yoga, it is believed that without endings there can be no beginnings.
So, when appropriate and when possible, celebrate the endings—including the lives of those recently passed—to acknowledge the good and let go of the sadness—and invite in new life, new opportunity, new possibilities.