Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Making Loss Matter

..."At some point in our lives, we learn that to really discover who we are, we have to go through the process of losing ourselves to find ourselves; in the moment when everything drops out and disappears, suddenly from within we begin to forge a new and greater understanding of who we are. It is when we seek above ourselves, beyond ourselves, that we most truly find ourselves."

I was talking to my K. Marie last night about the acceptance of loss. Loss comes in a variety of fashions. Most people only think to grieve over the loss of someone who dies, but Rabbi David Wolpe, in his book, "Making Loss Matter" writes about 6 different kinds of loss. He makes a case for loss in Home, Dreams, Self (the quote about is from that chapter), Love, Faith, and Life.
"Dreams can ennoble us even when they fail, even when they are lost, even when we let them go. Each dream can be a step on the ladder we climb in order to become the person we were meant to be."

Loss happens with all of us. We move, we love someone who doesn't love us back, we change jobs, we finish school and so much more. I have learned from Rabbi Wolpe that we don't make loss matter enough in life. We rarely take the time to actually grieve for the things we lose.
"The Sassover Rebbe said that he learned the meaning of love from overhearing a conversation between two villagers. One asked the other, "Do you love me?" The second replied, "I love you deeply." The first asked, "Do you know, my friend, what gives me pain?" The second protested the he could not possible know. "If you do not know what gives me pain, " lamented the first, "How can you say you love me?"

I am not suggesting that we all have a pity party or go around lamenting our losses all the time, in fact quite the opposite. Take the necissary time to grieve, then move past. Take what you need with you and leave the rest behind.
"Understanding that we can make loss meaningful is not the same as being glad that loss happened."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a splendid map for dealing with loss. I shall do my best to include many of your words in my next sermon with the same title.

M.J. Byrd, D.D.