“Friends are never truly lost. Sometimes they ebb and flow into and from our lives, however, never lost.” Evelyn Prieto
I wanted to share with you all a recent tender moment in counseling. My client a young, beautiful woman was telling me a story of how she learned that “nothing was permanent” after losing a friend. She said her life was never the same, never wanting to get close to anything lest she loses it. This struck me as very sad indeed as connecting and getting close makes life worth living.
“Finding the soul and connecting with other souls, even spirits can have a powerful comforting effect on those who suffer deeply.” Coyote Medicine, Lewis Mehl-Madrona
I paused and said, “The good news is, ‘Nothing is permanent.’ ”
She looked at me quizzically, but I gave it a moment to sink in before answering her curiosity. “Even pain and sadness pass.”
Even loss is impermanent. How could we think we lost something forever if we can’t even understand the term “forever” with our puny human brain?
Often people are confused by the word attachment as used in Buddhism. They don’t want to detach since they feel like this means disconnecting to something they love or having to accept a loss. But this is not correct. Detachment does not mean to disconnect, but to be deeply connected.
“[A]ccording to the Buddhist point of view, nonattachment is exactly the opposite of separation. You need two things in order to have attachment: the thing you’re attaching to, and the person who’s attaching. In nonattachment, on the other hand, there’s unity. There’s unity because there’s nothing to attach to. If you have unified with the whole universe, there’s nothing outside of you, so the notion of attachment becomes absurd. Who will attach to what?” Zen teacher John Daido Loori
How can you lose a friend if you and that friend are one? Physically, you may not be speaking but the story is not over yet. Our story won’t be over for a long, long time. We can still connect and be one, love them from a distance, love ourselves. Connection raises consciousness, attachment lowers it. Attachment involves fear of loss and judgment over that fear.
When we feel loss, we are just learning a new way of being connected. Disconnecting from a story that isn’t working so a new story can be created. Our stories can and are changing constantly. We can reinvent ourselves every day. Anxiety is different every day. Something is new in us, and since we are connected to all, new for all. Remember though, time is irrelevant and this newness will reveal itself sooner or later but it doesn’t matter how long, it is not lost. Time seems to be where we suffer. Connection is in the present moment. We and our losses are already new.
Pain and joy are two sides of the same coin. We cannot know one without the other. We can only understand the pain in that it is not joy.
“Sometimes things in life start simple, then go through great complexities and then come out the other side simple again.” Me
Tell me, what losses have you endured?