What if loss is natural and can lead to growth?
We all experience losses in life. You’re reading this because you have suffered a loss from the death of someone you loved. But think about all the losses that cause us to experience the same emotions of sadness, anger, uncertainty, depression, and denial. Many people have experienced loss of a marriage from divorce, loss of a job or loss of a pet to name a few.
Last month I lost my home in a fire and the damage was great enough that I have relocated for the next 5-6 months while my home is being rebuilt. Thankfully no one was hurt, but I have experienced many of the emotions I mentioned above and my life has been disrupted by moving, insurance companies, having none of my personal things and endless phone calls and paperwork.
Now every loss has degrees of pain, and the loss of my husband and mother were far more significant than my home but it is still a loss that needs to be acknowledged, requiring support family and friends along with my learning to get up each day and cope.
Loss Brings Up Fears
When my husband died I had fears about my future – how would I keep our business together, could I afford to keep our home, what would my life become in a year, two or five? This was navigating unfamiliar territory just as I find myself in today.
In the book “The Fear Cure” by Dr. Lissa Rankin she explores what makes us afraid to follow our callings, to say YES to that little voice that leads you to do brave things such as going to art school, or stepping into our life purpose. As I read her book I thought about how these same fears apply to loss. She illustrates what she calls 4 Fearful Assumptions:
1. Uncertainty is unsafe
2. I can’t handle losing what I cherish
3. It’s a dangerous world
4. I’m all alone
No wonder we experience fear and often we can get stuck in that fear preventing us from relying on our strength and resilience to heal. We have a tendency to cling to what was rather than embrace the new things that could come into our lives. Loss is a universal experience and how we handle it determines the experience we will ultimately have.
Dr. Rankin asks us to consider a loving universe, one that is conspiring to support us turning fear into hope & courage. (You can use the word God instead of universe if that feels more true for you.)
Consider these ‘Four courage cultivating truths’
by Dr. Rankin
- Uncertainty is the gateway to possibility
- Loss is natural and can lead to growth – bear witness to loss of ours and others
- It’s a purposeful universe –
- We are all one – we are more interconnected than we thought
These truths help you to be brave and provide you strength and resilience to heal your losses.
We all need to mourn the passing of a loved one, loss of a job or marriage or a home and allow resilience to come in and support us. To embrace big change in a healthy allows us to thrive again. Will you choose to thrive and grow?
Since my house burned down, I now have a better view, of the rising moon.” – Mizuta Masahide