Loss Can Lead to Happiness
Loss opens vistas/Attachment limits new movement/Freedom is empty
The word loss sends shivers down our spines. We are you afraid of losing our jobs, our spouse, our health, our good looks, our memory, our home, our children. And most of us harbor the unspoken fear of the ultimate loss – death?
How can loss lead to happiness?
Recognize when fear of loss controls our lives.
How many of us move through life motivated by Fear?
We enter unsatisfying relationships because we fear being alone.
We go to college because we fear disappointing our parents.
We take jobs we hate because we fear going into debt.
We wear the latest fashions because we fear being ridiculed.
At the base of all of these fears is one overriding fear, the fear of loss.
We fear the loss of a relationship.
We fear the loss of our parent’s approval.
We fear the loss of financial comfort.
We fear the loss of social approval.
We fear loss because of attachment.
We are attached to our things.
We are attached to status.
We are attached to social norms.
We are attached to satisfying others’ expectations.
We grow up being taught that these values of attachment are important. Seldom are we encouraged to take a critical look or to consider what is really of value in life. Maybe, if we go to a church, or temple, or mosque, we may learn that material accumulation and fitting into society are not the goals of life. We may learn that values such as compassion, kindness, generosity, courage, and even sacrifice, should be the guiding values for living a life of meaning and purpose.
Eventually, life will hit each of us with unwanted experiences. We can struggle against them, curse them, or we can learn to let go.
We can die before we die.
So we lose the job, or the spouse, or the car, or our house. When we can die, release our attachment to that which we have lost, without anger, self-pity or recriminations, we can discover a new freedom. The freedom of equanimity.
Equanimity – evenness of temper under stress (Encarta World English Dictionary, 1999)
With equanimity we take a deep breath, calm our rising emotions, and step back to take a full, objective look at our situation. We find the more we can relax, the more we can release attachment to our emotions and negative outlook, the more we use the power of equanimity we are able to take a new look at life.
We acknowledge we didn’t like that job anyway and begin to visualize, articulate, to find fulfilling work.
We admit we knew the relationship was wrong and patiently seek the person who gives our life meaning.
When we approach life with equanimity, we begin to take time to see life anew, with eyes of wonder. We take time to bathe in the symphonic silence of a breathtaking sunset. We marvel at a rare, huge golden moon. We melt in the loving gaze of a child. We are grateful for being alive in this very moment now we know how our loss leads to happiness.
Visit SACRED to receive a gift of wonder.