Looking At Loss as a Launch Pad

Greetings and welcome to this week’s discussion on choosing to be happy.

“This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness…welcome and entertain them all… Each one may be preparing you for a new delight…”—Rumi

Most of you have experienced a significant loss in one form or another. At the time of that loss, no doubt you suffered anguish and misery. You thought those feelings would endure…maybe even indefinitely. More than likely in your most intense moments of suffering, it would have been difficult to embrace Rumi’s words (“welcome and entertain them all…”).You might have struggled to access the still place within that would have served to be your source of strength and comfort.

Eventually, you had some breakthroughs, and regardless of whether or not you recognized what was happening at the time, those advances probably occurred because at some point along the way, you were able to access the Inner Stillness that gently guided you away from your suffering and back to a more balanced, whole state. Now, that devastating event from your past is behind you. You might have occasional twinges from time to time, but for the most part, the situation no longer has the same intense effect on you that it once had.

Perhaps you may not even have been aware of what you were doing to access the Inner Stillness that kept bringing you up a notch or two. Maybe from time to time, you just allowed yourself to feel…without judgment or blame (both of yourself or the other, who may have triggered you). At some point, when you were able to face your fear you might have noticed that the very thing you were afraid of (your vulnerability) was the actual vehicle that miraculously guided you toward your very own, open heart. You realized then, that the dragon of doom, which blazed his (her) hot, fiery breath in your direction was only a temporary inconvenience. And it was what you did with that blast that mattered. If you ran for retreat or cover, you likely had to come out again and face your fear at some point. If you were tempted to sulk, mourn, blame or go into self-righteousness or guilt, you no doubt eventually discovered that those strategies were less than effective. Ah…it was finally when you came to accept (or appropriately change) the condition, which had evoked so much pain in you that you began to notice the gift of what you had learned from the experience. Slowly, steadily you started to recognize what you would embrace and continue to emphasize while simultaneously remaining aware of how you could avoid trouble in the future based on what you’d learned.

There is always a way to alchemize the heavy lead of our challenges, into gold. You have already done this many, many times. Look back and continue to make note of your successes. Emphasize your victories, and realize that in every single one there were some challenges, which preceded your triumphs “…preparing you for [the] new delight.”