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The Wisdom of Loss

We all lose something some time.

We lose people we love. We lose competitions. We lose companions. We lose jobs. If you are like me, sometimes you lose your keys, your cell phone, your coffee and many other things.

No matter how great the loss – or how small - loss can be hard. I don’t like it a bit. And every year as I get older, I keep hoping I won’t have to lose anything else. I keep hoping that there will be one year when I hear, “Yep, you are as wise as you can get. No more losing for you!”

This morning I met with a very successful woman whom I admire. She’s a total winner at the top of her game. She has a bright energy – the kind of energy that strangers reach out for – and she always greets each person she meets with a kind word and a smile.

I have collaborated with her, laughed with her and watched her with amazement for many years. The story she chose to tell me today was not about all of her wins but of her one loss. You see the loss was where all of the learning and growth were held. The beautiful thing was that she paid attention.

Loss teaches us about what matters. It teaches us about life, our relationships, and our values. It also teaches us about winning.

And with each loss there is a gift - a.k.a. lesson(s) learned.

If you have experienced any type of loss, I don’t want you to re-experience the pain of it, but I’d like for you to look for the gift(s) you received from it.

Take inventory of the gifts you have received – it really is the important part of the process. What did you learn? What did you gain? How did it change you for the better? Where did it give you clarity? If the gifts aren’t clear yet, take a deep breath and give it some time. Ask again a few months from now.

Sometimes gifts can be hard to see. We do have to look for them. But they are always there. Often, the gift(s) gain clarity with the passage of time. Just remember to take it one day at a time and seek joy angels to ease the passage of time until the gift(s) becomes clear.

When you have the gift in hand, hold it there for a moment. Look it in the eye. And be sure to say thank you. It's very important to say thank you. It's that signal to the universe that says, "I grew.I got it. I'm getting better now. I am beginning to understand." Give the universe this reassurance that you are moving forward ~ it awaits your response. P.S. It's never too late to re-examine a gift, appreciate it and say thank you for it.

Once you’ve done that, loss makes you a winner.

© Kathy Sturgis, Ph.D. Kathy is founder of Refreshment Zone and is an organizational and personal development specialist with a doctorate in communication. Contact for more information.

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