Becoming a Being of Loss

On Sunday, I picked up my bag to leave the house and found something unfamiliar that was seemingly growing on its outer flap. Something to the liking of mold: white, web like, cottony and lifted. I instinctually thought, with discomfort, “I need to clean that off!” a remnant of the farm where I was outdoors the day before. I brought my bag to the kitchen and sprayed it with cleaner, the webbing shrunk and revealed a caterpillar beneath who had nested on my bag creating the beginnings of its cocoon. My heart froze and a severe pain shot from my stomach, through my chest and into my eyes. I couldn’t believe I had taken the life of this living creature. The experience for me was unbearably saddening. So many layers to the experience, the idea of life being loss, the idea of me causing it, the idea that it happened in the midst of this creature’s rebirth, the idea of my carelessness to the situation. I was experiencing something within myself that I never have before, speaking so loudly to my current state of being, of who I have recognized myself to be as of recent. I feel the world in such a deep way that sometimes I have no words to communicate fully how I experience living, but I try to be patient with myself to find them and I speak them to those who will open their ears to listen and understand. 

This past year has been a year of great loss, and I have been living to sort out what it means to not just feel loss, but understand deeply that loss, like all feelings once we have experienced them, become a part of us. At any instance we can re-member that part of ourselves and it will live in our being again.

I have felt loss on so many levels this year. And it has grown to be a part of who I am in this moment of blessed living. I walk the world in loss, but not just in the way that loss is seen as grieving and as mourning and discomfort and recognition and emptiness of absence. I walk the world feeling loss as a part of becoming, of making room for who you need to be in the now. It is a reminder that all things must end and that we have gained in living to make room for loss.  Loss would not exist if we did not gain, of knowledge, of experience, of relationships, of possession.

The more I lose, the more I am reminded also that I do not need much. It reminds me that at one point we came from nothing and with time and with the miracle of human ability to create we became and gained all that we risk to lose- all that we will eventually lose. Understanding this in the past year, embracing loss as a part of me has allowed me to walk the world feeling so much deeper and more openly. This understanding. you might think, would make me more accepting, make me numb to the moments of experiencing loss again, but I choose to feel it fully because the understanding of loss in my life, reminds me that I am more whole  and elevated and than ever.

Being at our highest and best is really letting all parts of who we have been, inform who we are, including all the pain, all the sorrow, all the darkness, so we can fully open ourselves to accepting the lives of other beings in their wholeness as well. All life is sacred and all life is made up of losses and gains. The caterpillar in that moment spoke of loss to me, reflected my journey of becoming a being of loss, just as I am a being of joy, a being of wonderment, a being of passion, a being of miracle- all this was meant to be felt. Transformation is the discomfort between loss and gain that pushes you to become. I am embracing the loss as I have given gratitude to all life’s blessings. I am more whole because I live with loss as a part of who I am.  

-JL

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