When we lose something, there are often many other things we lose along the way. Faith, hope, expectations, dreams, a future we envisioned, peace, identity.
Today I invite you to acknowledge that there might be unresolved pieces, futures and dependencies you might not even know you had started to create, build up and build on. I invite you to acknowledge them even if you don't know what they are.
This is not about intention, or lack of intention.
This is not about setting ourselves up.
This is not about foolishness or delusion.
These pieces-- doesn't it make sense that they are the natural byproduct of hope?-- ideas and emotional connections cast forward into a future with some expectation (however unconscious) of how things might be or become.
This is about all the things that come along for the ride when we begin down a path.
Yes, our fears are along for the ride too (go check out Sprogbloggers most excellent post).
But this post is about all of the things that line the sunny side of the road, all of the good things we imagine that will be.
The fact is, I know of only some of my pieces of hope. But I am still, all these years later, realizing just how many there were and are.
So how do we best deal with this unfinished business? This hope, or that one, that we suddenly realize or eventually realize is tied up to what we hoped would happen? These bits that are not central to the loss, but are often central to who we are and who we let ourselves become?
I think the best we can do is hold ourselves gently and offer heartfelt compassion to both who were were then, and who we are now. We did and we do the best that we can.
I think that we need to be more gentle with ourselves when we catch ourselves in our whatiffing. In our whatmighthavebeens. In our ifonlyies. In our perhaps unfolding awareness that our loss means the loss of so much more. Be gentle--Your future, as you envisioned it consciously or unconsciously, shifted out from under your feet. You may feel out of whack in ways that you cannot explain, or in ways you cannot articulate. These places of unmet hope, of unmet expectations need healing too. They may need a bit of attention, perhaps even a bit of grief, a bit of letting go, even if we do not know all that they are, or all that they impact.
Be aware that there might be an undercurrent holding you to these nested losses, that these too might be links we hold as connections to what we lost. So it is not necessarily as easy as brushing dust from our hands, saying There, enough of That.
I offer this intention and invite you to do the same:
Just for today, even if I do not know all of the details of all of the repercussions of my loss, I admit and acknowledge that there were plenty.
I will accept (for today) the fact that some I will know, and some I will never know.
But no matter what, I will be gentle with myself as they come up, and release them as best I can.
I will also meditate on releasing all of the tangled bits I will never fully know, imagining combing them out, perhaps twining them around my hand, imagining placing them lovingly in a basket tied to a balloon, imagining releasing them.