When Never Is Promise
For some, there are times in life, we lose everything. We can’t ever get it back. What is it? Our childhood, loved ones that have passed, freedom. Loss creates a burden. Sometimes we lose something physically but gain this emotional baggage. If we can’t reconcile it, we are haunted by it.
I lost all of my possessions on a few occasions. I lost some of the backups I thought were in place as well. My grandfather had given me a watch that came from a German soldier he saved in WWII. Unfortunately, it was lost. I wanted to pass it to my children and now I can’t even have it to reflect. Whether it is physical or emotional, “loss” can feel like it takes a piece of you. I have considered how we come into the world. We enter naked with nothing and helpless. If not for the help of someone else, we would die. From the time we are born we start to pick up things along the way. We accumulate knowledge, things, stuff, physical, and emotional. What we don’t realize at the time is that we are destined to lose it all. It will all go away but we aren’t naturally mindful or conscious of this because we are in our “now.” We are never going to retain the things we have and nothing is forever but it doesn’t change the fact that we feel pain right now.
Beyond loss, there is generational or perpetual pain that we pass on to people we love. In my case, it may be stories of the holocaust, slavery, hate, being poor and struggling. I read a lot and my kids ask me questions about loss and about fairness and society. For all the learning I do, I can’t answer their questions. Sometimes, I don’t answer because I realize that facts don’t always present the best solution or answer to the question asked.
The loss of thousands of people during this time is not trivial. It has caused me to personally reflect and assess my own perspective. I am also consistently perplexed by how people lash out. I think we are still immature as a culture. Perceptually a bunch of children in older bodies carrying around our loss and our pain without the benefit of conveyed context. Could you imagine if we had a phone application or notification with a story of the person you are dealing with attached? How would we treat people differently?
Application notification: You are meeting with Rachel, her father died three days ago, she was close to him and all of his assets are being held by the government. Her husband just left her a few months ago and she is one mortgage payment away from losing the house. One of her children has special needs and she spends most of her time at work.
We don’t have these things available to us readily available but we DO know that all of us have a story. As we suffer, feelings and emotions build. It becomes difficult to find outlets or sympathy. With the “always-on” and socially expressive society today we see extremes of people sharing everything which we become numb to or feel nothing. We wind up ignoring each other under either extreme condition. It’s like hearing someone say “my back hurts.” The first day they say it, we say to them “Oh, I am sorry to hear that, why don’t you take something for it.” If we hear this consistently over a few days, it becomes annoying and sympathy starts to decrease. If we hear it over a few weeks, most people just say “that’s so and so and her back always hurts, just ignore her.” But the pain persists. It’s her fault because she didn’t do anything to deal with the pain. It’s also her fault if she went to the Doctor to get help for the pain and the Doctor prescribed an opioid and she became addicted and wound up in a drug rehab facility after overdosing on fentanyl.
All of these things are true because we don’t have the ability to outwardly wear all of our scars. When someone loses a limb, it is clear what is lost. When someone loses their mind, it is much more difficult to rationalize.
On Forgiveness & Understanding
We have no right or true authority to judge other people. Forgiveness is not for people, it is for the person choosing to be forgiving. I am not talking about forgiveness and understanding as an excuse for something. I am talking about forgiveness and understanding to manage, cope, and find the ability to move beyond. I’ll also say that in some cases, there is no such thing as forgiveness and understanding. Only because forgiveness and understanding may also become a worldly burden in the same capacity as a loss.
The global crisis we are facing is a tip of the iceberg relative to all of the tests we face. We are in a global pandemic, our climate is in shambles, people around the world are suffering, business and economy is a mess, we are socially distraught. There is a lot to consider.
These days, I believe it is important for us to be mindful of our moments. Live right now in consideration of others and lick our wounds so to speak with the realization that loss and gain are part of life but our destiny is to leave with what we came with except for one thing…. love. We have an opportunity to take love with us and leave a legacy of love.
What do you think?