Dealing with Loss

One of the most difficult questions I get asked is, “How are we supposed to handle loss?

It could be the loss of a job, a marriage, or a loved one.  It could even be the loss of respect for a friend, or a loss of trust from a betrayal.  No matter what form loss takes, the effect is still the same.

Shock, confusion, hurt, anger, sadness.

Of course, there are different degrees of loss.  The more you care about who (or what) you lost, the more of an impact it has on you.

This is actually the first indication of how to handle loss, although it’s the answer no one wants to hear.  Stop caring so much.

Obviously, no one wants to become a cold, heartless B______.  So this type of advice is rejected out of hand.

And yet, far too many folks instinctively turn to drugs, alcohol, and other means of “numbing the pain”, which is another way of saying to “stop caring so much.”

But what if we turn this phrase around and say, “Find someone or something else to care about more.”

If you really consider all of the standard, readily-accepted suggestions, you find they all hinge on this one core idea.

Suggestions of finding something else to do with your time, keep busy, and distract yourself, is little more than redirecting your attention so you’re not thinking about what/who you lost.

It seems to me that the measure of how much you care about someone or something is directly related to how much you think about them.  So a suggestion of finding something else to think about is — at the base of it — a suggestion to care about something else more, or in other words, to stop caring so much for who/what you lost.

A slightly different suggestion, readily-accepted by most, is to have faith in God, and allow this Divine Being to heal your wounds by filling you with Divine Love, Wisdom, and Power.  While there is certainly nothing wrong with this approach — and indeed, I suggest it as a general response to anything — once again, it’s a suggestion to redirect your attention to something else.

Eventually, you hear someone say something along the line of, “Hey, you’re a strong person.  You’ll get through it.  And who knows, you might even come out better on the other side of this experience.”

This is also an idea I highly endorse, because I fully believe that we are all far more powerful and capable than most of us give ourselves credit for.

At its foundation, this idea is one of perspective.  See yourself as bigger than your problems, and eventually the problems become insignificant and powerless to hurt you.

The extreme expression of this idea is when you see yourself as the ONLY thing in the Universe that has any value, and nothing else matters.  So, even in a mild, socially-acceptable form, this is a suggestion to care less about who or what you lost, and care more for the glorious Divine Being you are.

The same is true with any other suggestion I’ve ever come across on how to deal with loss.

Focus on something else, and let the love you wish to express to find a new outlet.

Once you get past the idea of “not caring so much”, you find that it’s really the only answer, and the expression of the idea doesn’t have to turn you into a cold, heartless B______.  It can help you open up to become a much more loving individual.

It’s just a matter of expressing Divine Love for what/who is still in your life now, and finding new people and things to care more about.

And if it takes a loss to push you in this direction, then maybe the experience was more of a blessing than you first realized.

I know, a hard concept to consider, at least at first.  All I can say is that there were some hard experiences in my life that pushed me in a positive direction, and now I’m glad they happened.

If you’re the one going through a loss right now, please know that I’m not the only person who cares about you and is praying that you find the silver lining around this dark cloud.

You probably have more folks on your side than you know.

Be blessed, my friend.