Overcoming Loss With No Perceived Meaning

30 08 2010

Loss is unavoidable in our human experience. Every second of every day someone is experiencing a form of loss. Loss comes in many forms. Some of the most common are loss of a toy, goldfish, job, relationship or loved one. More often then not there are warning signs to our losses or they are understandable. We lost our purse because we forgot it on the park bench. Or, we lost a loved one through death. Although they bring on pain there’s an aspect of logic and understanding to the situation which in time can help the griever let go and heal. What if you experience a loss with no explanation. For example I had worked for a women several years ago, giving her Pilates and yoga lessons in her life. We were becoming close friends and then one day I called to confirm her next appointment and received no call back. This was uncharacteristic of her so I phoned her again a day later with still no result. After a week of trying and still getting no callback I gave up. I never heard from her again. Our relationship vanished into thin air without any explanation. I was shocked and heartbroken. Not only did I lose work but I also lost a friend. I racked my brain to try and understand why she would break ties with me. The only thing I was able to come up with was she didn’t like my training. Even this assumption gave me no peace because I still had no idea what I “did wrong” if any.
After months of contemplating the situation I realized that someone else’s actions have nothing to do with me. Her idea about me is none of my business. In fact her vanishing into thin air had nothing to do with me whether she perceived that it did in her mind. I realized that we all have a play going on in our mind. We are the main characters to our play and everyone that arrives afterwards is secondary characters. In my client’s mind I was a secondary character with a whole story line and plot going on, which had nothing to do with me but everything to do with her mind. Her decisions were based on her play. When I realized this I was able to move on because I knew that people will always make decisions about other people whether they are based on fact or not.
Have you noticed that when you go to an old family friend who hasn’t seen you in years, he or she will usually converse with you as if you were the same person you were years ago despite any changes you might’ve made. People will see what they want to see and hear what they want to hear. It’s like hearing the same thing from 3 people in 3 different ways but not agreeing with them and a fourth person comes along and says it in a way that works for you. You run back to the first person and excited share with him this new idea you’re gonna try. Your friend looks at you and says, “didn’t I suggest that to you ten thousand times?” It happens everyday to all of us.
If we can practice viewing everyone that comes into our life as a character in a play with their own plays going on, we can begin to not take anything that other people do personally. If a loss of a relationship happens with no perceived meaning all we need to remember is, “What you think of me is none of my business.” Their story has nothing to do with you and everything to with the drama in their mind.

Action Step: Think of a relationship that has an open end. See if you can write a letter of understanding, as if you can see their mind and see the drama going on and acknowledge that it’s their mind’s story and not real. Read it aloud and either burn the letter in a safe place or tear it up and scatter it in open water. Find a way to symbolically release the relationship and the unfinished ending. Allow yourself to heal and forgive the other person and yourself for ending the relationship the way they did.

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