Brief Thoughts on Personal Loss

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about the nature of personal loss. So many of us have lost so much this year – from loved ones, to health, to careers, to personal freedom, to beloved pets, and any other of the myriad ways a human can be hurt.

Loss is a seductive emotion for self-pity, because often it feels like you can’t do anything against it. And in truth sometimes you can’t. It’s taken what it’s taken, and you don’t always get it back.

So how do you overcome a major loss?

I think this is the wrong way to look at it, to be honest. Our society is so focused on winning that anything less can seem like a suboptimal outcome. But winning doesn’t always look like overcoming and conquering. And it doesn’t always mean restoration of what was lost, either.

Sometimes winning simply means enduring. Putting one foot in front of the other and continuing to walk through the mess of your life as it is right now. Often you will walk alone, and on the good days friends will walk with you. Eventually, if you persist, things will get better.

I believe that when it comes to loss, winning means accepting and adapting. Forgiving, forgetting, and moving forward in a positive way to the best of our ability.

Sometimes the quickest way out is straight through.

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