I struggled all morning to write a blog post. I had a whole theme, title, and even some pictures to use. I had a couple of analogies and fine points, but somehow it just wouldn’t jell into a complete essay. I saved what I had into a draft and pulled out my phone to procrastinate, ahem. I opened Instagram and came across my friend Sarita Mason’s post where she talked about wins and opportunities, rather than wins and losses (find her here on Instagram and here on YouTube). I love that idea and I realized that it’s much more than just renaming something, but really changing a whole mindset.
This friend Sarita is wise and I commented on her post. I’m still digesting this idea, and I think it’s going to take some time for it to really become part of my pattern. I love it, though. Often what we think of as losses really are the things that teach us the most and build our character, even when painful and difficult. These opportunities help us to pick up the pieces, as we figure out how to begin again and figure out alternative plans. We look back at those losses, no, opportunities, and realize that perhaps they prevented us from going down a certain path, that only with hindsight we can see was the wrong one.
Losses can be all sorts of things. The loss of a friendship, the loss of a job, the loss of a routine, the loss of an identity, the loss of what felt like certainty, the loss of a plan. All of a sudden those losses, all of which I have faced recently, become opportunities.
The loss of someone I thought was a dear friend is now some space to cut someone free and to evaluate my other relationships and to discover which ones are working and which ones are not. It might mean letting some friendships loose and really digging in with other loved ones to see if reconnecting and repairing are possible, or just silently releasing someone from long ago (I still have plenty of healthy relationships). I realize that some routines were becoming ruts and it’s good to change it up. The loss of identity (not actual identity theft) is a wonderful chance to reexamine the stories I tell myself and to consider where my ego is and where my heart is. Looking at certainty is really just a chance to realize that everything is uncertain, but sometimes we comfort ourselves with the illusion of certainty. All of a sudden, without a plan, the future is wide open, and I feel free to explore paths that I was too afraid to think about or that I felt too boxed in to try.
I know that there are some huge losses right now. Many people are losing their health, their jobs, their homes, their lives. I hope that some of these losses can become opportunities. I feel grateful for my mindset shift, thanks to Sarita.
A loss is a chance to recalibrate. Even in the face of huge turmoil, there might be a chance to really examine our past and finally reconcile the damage. We can pick up the pieces and begin to build the future that we once only dreamed of. In the midst of this loss and changing it to opportunity, we can rebuild sturdy foundations that were once scrambled together on what we didn’t realize was sinking sand. We can reach out in loss and find other’s hands and help each other up to freedom. It takes faith, hard work, and reframing what felt impossible, losses into opportunities.