At some point in our lives, we have all lost.
In some way or another, it could be that we have lost relationships, jobs, communities, beliefs. Both belief in ourselves and in others.
Loss is inevitable. But it’s also human.
In his article, Mark Manson writes,
“Every loss is a form of death. In every case, there once existed an experience — a thing, an idea, a person — that brought your life meaning. And now it no longer exists.”
Loss feels like death. A slow death, wrapped in long, drawn out silences. Loss could also come back to haunt you.
We’ve all been there, after a terrible breakup or losing a job. A friend or family member might’ve probably come up to you, pat you on the back and said, time heals all wounds.
A phrase that makes me want to pull my hair out.
Why? Because time doesn’t heal wounds. Meaning does. The ability to create and discover new meaning for your life is how you will deal with loss.
Yeah, it sucks. Losing someone special sucks. Letting go sucks. No one ever said it was going to be easy. Because you knew that it was part of you — part of your identity, your soul, your being. And you held on so long to that person or thing because you didn’t want to let go of them. Because losing them would mean losing yourself.
Learning to Embrace pain
During an Oprah Winfrey interview with Glennon Doyle Melton, she said that the healthiest way to deal with pain is to run straight into it, not away from it.
What does she mean by that? It means that in order to recover from loss or cope with pain is to take time for yourself and face it. Without any distractions.
Most people tend to run away from their pain by seeking harmful distractions: drowning themselves and suppressing their worries with alcohol, sex, drugs, binge-eating, or social media. Most people who come out of broken relationships go out onto the dating scene and try to seek attention, love and affection. Then when they realize what their destructive behavior is doing to them, then it’s often too late.
We’re all running away from something.
From the past, the ‘one that got away’, from childhood trauma, from bullies, from fear. But past wounds can sometimes be cut open. The past is like a fantom, it comes and goes in wave-like motions and if it stays with you for too long, then it could cause a lot of damage. Sometimes, you can’t help but escape. You can’t help your mind drift off to a particular place or memory with a person. We all have those moments.
Some piece of the past will always stay with you, but you can use your pain to grow, evolve and learn.
How To Let Go
The key to letting go of someone is to create new meaning. This means building new relationships, replacing old ones with new ones, starting a new career and investing in yourself — the most important investment you’ll ever make.
Learning to let go is the first step to healing wounds. Whether it’s writing a letter, burning your ex’s clothes or growing a house plant, it should be a moment which marks the process of moving forward.
That also means letting a part of you go too. Take time to accept that. Life is defined by the cyclical process of changing, adapting and improving yourself to create new meaning. If we’re always changing and evolving, then it’s guaranteed we’ll be happy.
That’s why it’s so important to let go. It also means forgiving other people so that feelings of resentment, bitterness, jealousy and regret won’t torment you in the future.
Life is a series of losses. All you do is take a step forward and that’s how you’ll move on.
Darwin once said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most adaptable to change.”
He wasn’t lying when he said that.
So adapt. Adapt to the changes and loss to ultimately blossom into the new you.
What are you escaping from?
We’re all afraid. Afraid to move on, afraid of change. But trust me, it’s so needed.
So run straight into the pain.
And let go.