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When we speak of loss, we most often think about death or breakups.
But loss goes beyond people and things.
We might lose direction, ourselves, or control. We might lose our dignity, sense of self-worth, or opportunities. We lose hope, perspective, happiness, gratitude, or faith.
Losing these things—that are deep within us—are scarier than losing someone we love or a job or a house. A breakup or death may subconsciously loom in the back of our minds. Although grief might never leave our bodies, we eventually move on.
But how do we move on from losing faith or hope? How do we move on from losing ourselves or sense of self-worth? How do we recover that part of us that’s no longer real?
I ran across this quote by Paulo Coelho today and I think we all need to read it:
“When faced with a loss, it is no use trying to recover what has gone. On the other hand, a great space has been opened up in your life—there it lies, empty, waiting to be filled with something new. At the moment of one’s loss, contradictory as this might seem, one is being given a large slice of freedom.”
It’s natural to seek what has gone. It’s absolutely normal to fill the space that’s now scary and hollow. We want to recover it, to feel it again, to regain perspective, to replenish faith and hope and happiness and positivity and everything that’s good.
But maybe, just maybe, the solution doesn’t have to be so obvious. It could be, as Coelho says, to see the space that’s been opened up and fill it with something new—rather than hunt for the old. To appreciate the idea that now we’re free, liberated, and it’s time to think about how to move forward.
Loss is a big part of life, but it’s also necessary. Think about what you can gain without dwelling on what you have lost.
Fully immerse yourself in all the spaces in your life that are now empty.
Remember, they’re not really empty; they’re just waiting for you to look at them differently.