Love, Loss, and Life*
Have you heard the expression, “what a difference a day makes?” If you have been on this planet for any significant time at all, I think you’ll be able to relate. In a matter of a mere 24 hours and often less, our entire world, as we know it can change.
I think back to last summer when, one day, my son (please forgive me son if you read this) went from my baby boy to husband. Now, don’t get me wrong. I adore my daughter-in-love. I could not ask for a better helpmate for my son. He wasn’t the only one who changed that day. I gained another daughter. I’m now a mom of three!
Earlier this year, we sold our home. The home where we raised our children through first dates, driving lessons, college graduations and other life celebrations. That too was a change. While we celebrated the excitement of a new home, I grieved the loss of our former abode as we sat and signed papers in a matter of minutes.
And just last month, my daddy went to live with Jesus. Talk about change. That one I’m told, I’ll never completely get over. I went from being a daddy’s girl to not having one on this planet. At least not my very own that was made just for me.
Through all of these experiences, I have felt love and loss as part of life. The bottom line is I “get to” feel the emotions and grow through both the joy and the pain. You see, for years, I lived numb. I would have missed out on truly living through these changes because I would have simply masked up and blocked out anything that wasn’t comfortable.
Brene Brown speaks to the heart of the subject when she teaches about our inability to block one emotion without coincidingly blocking out others. For example, I can not cut off pain without also cutting off joy. Our feelings are not like the hot and cold knobs on a sink. It is not as simple as turning one without turning the other.
My encouragement is to live fully every day while allowing each emotion to be expressed and experienced. I’m not talking about wallowing, ignoring grief, or celebrating recklessly. I simply know, from personal awareness and change, I must permit myself to authentically engage in life.
One simple set of 24 hours can change our lives in countless ways. We can go through love, loss, joy, sorrow, frustration, contentment, embarrassment, pride, shame, fear, relief, the list goes on and on. Whatever you’re feeling today, realize you have a choice. If it’s a feeling that makes your heart smile, relish it. If doesn’t, try to let it go in order to let a feeling in that does. In the end, it is all part of life.
*Side note- This piece is not intended to diminish the real pain of loss. Nor is it intended to substitute seeking professional guidance through life altering circumstances. I’ve written this to share my heart and in doing so, hope to connect with yours.