The value of loss

There is something far too prevalent about our becoming so easily discontented with what is within our grasp, while endlessly seeking that which is just beyond it.

It’s the ‘grass is always greener’ malady which everyone seems to know about but few appear to conquer or care to change.  In contemplation of this strange yet common phenomenon, I’ve come to realize that it has absolutely nothing to do with what one has or doesn’t have.  In fact, it’s most often those who have lived with nothing who understood most fully the depth of wisdom in rejecting the idea that happiness or peace is fulfilled by the pursuit of a certain gain or status in life.

This knowledge seems to begin by a soul finding peace and contentment in deeper, stronger, ‘forever’ things by being stripped of possessions and perceived control of ones life (for really we never actually have it to begin with)  Yes, I’m sorry to say, control is an illusion, one we often choose to believe.

But what is left when all of that is gone?  When we can no longer distract ourselves with the idea that there’s something we can gain from our own merit that will bring us contentment, if only we work hard enough or do all the right things?

When I think of people who are most familiar with this place, I think of those who know they are dying and the people who love them.  Death and our awareness of it brings all our formally ‘important’ things of life to a screeching halt and makes us remember, or perhaps learn for the first time what really matters to us in the end.

Did you ever notice that some of the kindest, most life-filled souls are often in their last days on this earth?  I don’t think that is because God takes the most beautiful of us first, I think it’s because we become beautiful when we accept embrace the truth of what He is trying to teach us.

In the end, what is left cannot be gained by seeking that which one does not have, or believing that happiness comes from merit or money or status or gain.  I believe what is left in those moments are eternal, deep, and bestowed by Someone far beyond ourselves.  What is left is Love, the beauty of giving ourselves up to and for others, and of being grateful in all things.  It is more than words give justice to or can even express.

I don’t think we learn any of this by winning or by succeeding, by health or education.  I think we learn this by realizing one way or another,  that even if we gained all we were seeking in this world, we would still be left wanting if that is all we pursue.  Some of the most priceless times of life are when we are left with nothing in the darkness, and discover that our deepest longing is and always has been within our grasp. It has nothing to do with ‘more’

It is there, in the darkest of places where I have been left alone with nothing but the most beautiful Love imaginable, and I have realized the most important things in life have already been given to me.  Not to say I do not carry my own unfilled desires, my heart is well acquainted with longing. But I cannot allow that which I do not have to overshadow or diminish that which I do.  There is always something to miss, something to gain, but in the end you have to ask yourself what really matters to you in the end.

Life is not meant to be lived once we reach our destination, it is the very journey we take to get there.

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