From Loss To Liberation

Willing to experience aloneness,
I discover connection everywhere;
Turning to face my fear,
I meet the warrior who lives within;
Opening to my loss,
I am given unimaginable gifts;
Surrendering into emptiness,
I find fullness without end.

Each condition I flee from pursues me.
Each condition I welcome transforms me
And becomes itself transformed….

Jennifer Welwood

The positive aspects of loss may not be immediately apparent, but they do exist. I am not talking so much about the old saw: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but the liberation that comes with losing a relationship, a job, even a coveted aspect of one’s health. At first, this may sound absurd. What liberation? But, in time, life strips you of your illusions, and you come face to face with your demons. The thing you feared the most happens. It might be the death of a loved one, illness, financial hardship, or divorce. You think you’ll implode, explode, or become catatonic; but, no matter how you react initially, you usually end up coping. The very act of dealing with catastrophe liberates you from the old fear that you wouldn’t be able to stand X, Y, or Z.

At some point after the initial shock has passed, you may find yourself feeling a freedom that is so deeply pervasive it’s overwhelming. The unbearable lightness of being, Milan Kundera called it. Simply too heady to contemplate, let alone assimilate. Yet, like so many things in life you didn’t think you could bear, you slowly adjust to this internal vastness and possibility. Sometimes, you react with the old fear; but, more typically, you feel some heady delight in your ability to cope. With each passing month you find you can make decisions more easily because you understand yourself better.

The thing you feared the most is a gateway to your liberation.  The “shoulds” commandeering your life no longer have any sway, as they are overridden by self-knowledge. Even when you may not know what exactly you want you are open to discovering it through experimentation.

By cultivating patience for yourself and the process of envisioning, creating, and navigating your new life,  you can actually see how loss opens you up. Not only for new experiences, but for a better relationship with your own sweet self.

Major change is akin to dying and being reborn; neither is easy, but both are necessary if you are to move forward. By going through the dark, whether it’s anger, grief, anxiety, or despair, you clarify what you want. Each time you encounter something you don’t want it helps refine your desires.

Fighting against loss, and the grief it engenders, slows your progress.  However, it may be a necessary part of your healing, so allow whatever comes.  It won’t last. Eventually, you will get more comfortable with the ebb and flow of life, moving towards acceptance.

Once you relinquish the notion that any transformation should be quick and easy, you can fully allow what is happening in this moment.  The minute you lessen your resistance to reality you open yourself up to myriad possibilities.  That’s when things change for the better. Your optimism and open-heartedness bring new avenues of joy, meaning, and fulfillment.

Life is flux, whether it is obvious or not.  What appears to be hibernation and inaction may be a period of necessary downtime to energize you for the next leg of the journey. Things are exactly as they should be; and, as Louise Hay says: “Everything is happening for your highest good.”

Today, while being stalked by fear, loneliness, or grief, you may not be aware of the mechanism through which your highest good will manifest. By adopting Louise’s assumption you acquire the necessary faith to carry on.

Liberation from your old ways is challenging and frightening because it is new.  Whatever or whomever you were dealing with before was familiar.  Allow yourself to adjust to these changes. Whether they are from divorce, death, illness, or an empty nest, take all the time you need to get comfortable.  Be patient and compassionate as you adapt in your own unique way.

Copyright Nicole S. Urdang

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Nicole Urdang

Nicole S. Urdang, M.S., NCC, DHM is a Holistic Psychotherapist in Buffalo, NY. She holds a New York state license in mental health counseling and a doctorate in homeopathic medicine from the British Institute of Homeopathy.