Honoring the experience of loss

Heat, a form of energy, is partly potential en...

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How we squander our hours of pain. How we gaze beyond them into the bitter duration to see if they have an end. Though they are really seasons of us, our winter-enduring foliage, ponds, meadows, our inborn landscape, where birds and reed-dwelling creatures are at home ~~Ranier Marie Rilke

At a spiritual workshop I recently attended, I learned about the Jewish custom of sitting shiva, a seven day mourning period when those who have lost a close family member just sit with with that loss, feel it, live it.

I wonder if something similar might not be appropriate when we have encountered a failure in our lives. Even though the tendency is to smooth it over and soon move on, perhaps we need to stop to honor the experience of loss. 

We have all sorts of truisms to get over it quickly. Ah, I didn’t want those grapes, we tell ourselves like the fox in Aesop’s Fables. It’s not that important–that relationship, that project I have worked on for years, that job assignment.  

Friends, in turn, try to cheer us up by saying, “When one door closes a window opens.”  Or, “it wasn’t meant to be.”

But I wondering if sometimes we move on too fast.  Maybe when a really big failure occurs in our lives, and they happen for all of us, maybe we just need to sit with it for a while, feeling its loss and mourning the passing of all the potential and promise that is also lost with it.

Maybe it’s OK to feel down, to work through the failure feelings, to keep them company and to allow them, in turn, to accompany us for a stretch on life’s journey.

A loss is a loss is a loss. The measure of the loss we feel perhaps relects the amount of energy and attention and effort we have put into something that is no longer there for us. 

And by thus honoring that loss, we can gain closure and marshall the energy needed to move forward.

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About Intrepid Explorer

By writing we discover the world
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