We have all endured loss. Like joy, this is an experience that unifies us. Some of us have lost our mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters. Others have lost their homes, livelihoods, dreams, their confidence. Too many of us have lost ourselves
It catches us by surprise, every time, this loss. Even in the situations when we have the opportunity to prepare, that does little to shelter us from the onslaught. It is an experience that is completely outside of our control, no matter our strength of character or determination. We live it. We feel it. We breathe it in – we become caught in this whirlwind of fate, karma, and chance. It is a living reminder of the duality and changeability of life. And whether we acknowledge it or not, this whirlwind often takes over our lives. We find ourselves in another world, and in a different state of being. No longer ourselves. We stumble around in these new surroundings without direction, unable to cope, unable to connect with our loved ones as much as we would wish. Happiness begins to slip through our fingers. When this occurs, we experience a second loss, arguably greatest one – the loss of self. Of our inner light, our core, our fire. Of that which makes us irrevocably ourselves, and which allows us to genuinely and deeply connect with others.
True healing from this state can come only when we regain our inner freedom. In rectifying that second loss, we are then able to finally let go of the first. Know that no one can take your inner freedom, and your sense of self from you. It can only be given away, though at times unconsciously. But by the same token, it can also be reclaimed. When we choose to be ourselves again, that we can be truly free. This takes time. The altered state you were in created habits, spiritual, emotional, and neurological that will need to be re-patterned. Do not pressure yourself, but feel secure in the knowledge that once you are aware of the pain, and acknowledge that deep down you were afraid of never finding yourself again … that the fear dissipates. Yes, you lost something dear to you, and then you lost yourself. But you are fighting to regain your inner freedom. And when you do, no loss, no matter how significant and how difficult will ever cause you to lose it again. And that, that is true a true gift. For then you will have nothing left to fear.
In this journey, everything hinges upon choice. No matter our belief systems or our past, we exercise free will. You must choose to be whole again. Choose yourself, everything that defines you – with a passion and conviction such as you have never felt before. Continue to do so each day, in small decisions and in large ones. There will be bumps in the road, and that is all right. Being at peace does not mean the absence of pain or emotion, but rather the ability to maintain your core centre despite the changes that swirl around. It is a practice. You do not need to be perfect, and some days it will be harder than others. Sometimes, you will simply fold in on yourself. Choose then be introspective, to connect with your body. Ask, what am I feeling. And why. How does this affect me. What is this fear or worry telling me. What is this pain telling me. Take action with your choices, and you will be back on the directed path, stronger than before.
I cannot promise that you will never have the ground pulled out from under your feet again. In fact, it is likely to happen. Unexpectedly so. But when it does, for the first time, you will be conscious of the choice before you: to fall through into that other world and wander, or to simply be present, gather your thoughts and some tools, and climb towards your bright future. Because you are strong enough. Your sense of self and inner freedom, once won, cannot be lost again.