I don’t believe anything has the power to break us the way loss does.
It shakes up our bodies, emotions, thinking patterns, belief systems, coping strategies. Our very existence goes through a cleansing. All that we thought we knew and all that is yet to be discovered. The growth that stands between these worlds is mighty, vast, and unnameable.
Once you’ve experienced loss, which everyone has to some degree, you are changed. Forever. Your stuffed rabbit, your dog, your parent, the love of your life.
There is a place deep within where loss resides and discovery marinates.
Some losses go so deep that words seem inadequate. So visceral and primal that there aren’t words, not that describe the scream you suppress or shout, the tears you shed or withhold, the physical symptoms of bellyaches and headaches that manifest from seemingly nowhere.
But…there is the other side, too.
The breaking open of the heart, the shedding of caked mud that has accumulated from the process of life itself, the newness with which we see, the vulnerability that strengthens us enough to be soft, compassionate, and the appreciation – once again – of being alive. Really alive, taking chances, caring less about pleasing others, and more about what fulfills and nourishes you.
It is a mighty transformation – going through, walking on the road with, staying open and available to – loss. Although at first blush we recoil because we recognize the impending pain, look again. There is almost always more than our judgment-prone, untrained-eyes can distinguish.
Pain takes many forms. Who are you as you traverse that path and where will your travels take you?
The untrained eyes that we’ve trained ourselves.
Or that were trained for us.
And then to find the line to distinguish the two…