So much of the fabric of our lives is woven in loss.  The death of a family member, friend or colleague…the loss of a job…no longer feeling as safe in the midst of Covid 19’s new realities…or the simple reality of aging… all impossible to hide from.

The sense of lost opportunity can run hard and deep.  What was known and could be counted on is no longer the same.  We enter new territory unclear of what to expect.

And with loss, we too often play stories of regret over and over again in our minds.  We could have spent more time with our loved one.  Maybe not fought with them that one time.  We could have done our job better.  We could have taken better care of our bodies. 

We could have…we could have…we could have…

I’m certainly not advocating we ignore or run from the pain.  It’s important we embrace what we feel.  It is at the core of our own humanity.  However, if we find ourselves in a constant cycle of pain and regret, we need to find a way out. 

If you’ve lost someone important to you, what can you do to remember them? Was it something they did (or didn’t do) in their lives that you can learn from?  How might knowing them make you a better person?

Lost a job?  What’s the opportunity?  Maybe you didn’t get to show up at work as the real you.  Where might you be able to do that in your next job?  Maybe you can find a job that lets you stretch your talents? 

Don’t like Covid 19?  Join the crowd!  But since we can’t ignore it, how might you get to know your neighbors a bit more?  What about that book you never had time to read?  When was the last time you played a game with your family?

And while your body getting older may not be your idea of fun, what CAN you do?  Adapt.  Find new things to do that don’t stress your body.  Welcome the privilege of wisdom and move as best you can.  Laugh at yourself.  You’ve earned the right to claim all the joy you can muster in your life.

None of this is easy.  Life is a roller coaster. It’s when we hold on to the pain in our hearts that we limit ourselves.  Instead…find the joy in yourself. 

And ask yourself – What do I get to do next?

Can’t believe I’m quoting Snoop Dog, but to paraphrase his words on loss –

Sometimes a loss is the best thing that can happen.

It teaches you what you can do next time.