life's "little" losses




Once upon a time, a coworker and I connected. The ease of the working relationship surprised me. She brought to life the ability for me to enjoy pleasure in the midst of a hard day at work. Then she left to move on to greener pastures. I was happy for her. This person had helped me to get through daily life, through days when work was hard and messy. I hope I did the same for her. Relationships at work may become friendships outside of the employment arena. Many times they do not extend outside of work. These good relationships form. You share information about your lives. You care. The connection can be mostly work-related or may become more personal. The “little” loss when the person leaves may leave a big impact or a small imprint.

These types of relationships may occur in any location or situation. An example could be a kinship between yourself and a barista at your favorite coffee shop. You, as the customer, connect with the person who makes your latte. You find yourself sharing pieces of your life, sometime very important pieces. The connection surprises you or makes you wonder how this person touches your inner life somehow. There is a chance you do not even realize how important the connection is to you until this barista is gone. Life works that way sometimes.

Life’s “little” losses count. They matter. They may add up. We adapt. The more we heal, the easier it is easier to see the bigger picture of our existence on this earth. We have learned that we can cope. The grief is not heavy. It does not mean the loss was not significant.

Aging brings life’s “little” losses. Maybe you walk slower. Your hair turns gray; and, you truly liked it before the gray showed. Your energy level seems to be less. Bigger health issues fall under a different category.

I left behind almost all my household goods and a car when I left Germany to become a protective parent to protect my daughter, Megan. That would fall into a bigger loss category. Recently, I broke a cup that someone gave me. I used this mug for tea each night and it reminded me of this person’s generosity and friendliness. It was interesting to notice how the “little loss” of a broken cup affected me.

In past 12-step meetings I attended, conversation sometimes revolved around the idea that it is not necessarily the big things in life that bring us to drink again. Many times, it is the little things such as traffic, rude drivers, long lines in a retail store, etc., that seem to bring a person to return to alcohol or drugs. Those meetings were acknowledging that people get upset, angry, or bothered by seemingly small actions or frustrating life scenarios. It was and is important to be aware of this possibility to return to alcohol or drugs.

It is important to acknowledge that life’s “little” losses can compound. The straw that broke the camel’s back is an appropriate idiom to remember. Next time someone is telling you about a “little” loss that seems not so important to you, your listening and compassion may actually be helping someone to let go of a “little” loss. Most of us need to acknowledge, accept, and let go of little losses, so that the camel’s back is not broken!

Life can surprise you. Depending on how well you know yourself, you may be surprised by your response to situations, things, or people. You may think not having a specific item or person in your life may be quite hard only to discover that was the not the case. There are times when a loss hits you unexpectedly. You did not realize a person meant so much to you until he or she left your circle. Life is funny that way.

I recommend that you:

  1. Acknowledge the loss.
  2. Breathe. Feel the loss.
  3. Accept the “little” loss.
  4. Experience gratitude for what you had or the person that was in your life.
  5. Let it go lightly … still remember it or the person fondly … gently move forward with your life as it is now.

Life is filled with “little” losses. These losses are treasures – gems – on the road of life. Just as we need to notice the good things in our life with gratitude, we need to acknowledge “little” losses. Frequently, these small losses highlight the blessings that existed.

Did you ever find a seashell or an ordinary rock of character, hold it, feel in it in your palm, and, instead of taking it home with you, gently put it back on the ground? Somehow you knew that the shell or rock was meant to be seen, held, appreciated, and remembered, but not kept. A part of us, inside, is affected. Life continues to ebb and flow. Gains and losses, big and little …

It is with appreciation and gratitude that I remember my special coworker and the mug that another person gave to me. Of course, I wish they both were in my life still. It is okay though. Life moves …

People stay in my heart.