June 3, 2015

The Other Side of Loss.

feather hand let go
Whenever there are beginnings there will be endings.

Loss is a necessary part of life.

I say this to myself over and over as I walk through what feels like the barren landscape of loss.

Loss is a necessary part of life.

There is no avoiding it, no magic bullet to make it go away, no escaping the fact of it. But there is mindfulness.

By practicing compassionate awareness of loss I can see the small vegetation in the landscape. I can begin to know that through loss I have the opportunity to learn about my deeper self.

In the painful aloneness of loss I can uncover a little bit more of who I am and what supports me. I can confront what I fear most. I can ask myself; am I more attached to the suffering, to the clinging to hope or the cloak of guilt than I am to learning and growth?

I’ve had many losses in my life, the most recent a major love—lost because of bad timing, distance, and not enough laying of solid foundation in the beginning to weather the inevitable storms. With this loss I worked on allowing my mind to open to the reality and to grieve without resentment or fantasy. It was difficult for me not to hang on to my comfortable habit of trying and trying, of tolerating things that created too much suffering.

But eventually, through practicing compassionate awareness of loss, I gained a sense of how to expand and deepen my ability to love myself, to feel myself solid and resonant, whether connected to a partner or not.

I saw that those who have failed me or disappointed me or hurt me have all been disappointed themselves, and if I can hold back from reacting, if I can let the space that loss creates become a space for contemplation and quiet so the mind learns to be inquisitive and reflective rather than reactive and impulsive, then I will have found my way to the other side of loss—I will have gained a more gentle view of my own self with or without that external love and reassurance.

When I practice compassionate awareness of loss I realize the heaviness I feel is of my own doing. It comes from me adding more weight to the loss, loading myself up with fighting and trying to fix everything, grabbing on too hard. Not letting go.

I see if I soften my heart, it opens naturally into the space created between the coming and going of the painful feelings.

When I breathe into that space I feel my own sense of self, how I tick and what I need, quietly gaining strength through awareness that loss does not have to define me or be my default fear.

I believe we have the ability to be fully present to what is in front and inside us.

We can connect with joy, learn from our losses, and take that space to obtain even more clarity about our own lives and what is truly before us.





She Let Go.



Author: Susan Lambert

Editor: Renée Picard/Emily Bartran

Photo: Federleicht at Flickr 

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Susan Lambert