Sunday, February 10, 2013

Friends with Loss

I have considered loss to be my enemy for the first 38 years of my life. I determined early on that I could not have loss as a part of my life. When it came knocking at my door I would ignore it or pretend it was not there. I developed a very effective (so I thought) system to avoid facing loss.
I would be very quite, the equivalent of tip toeing around the house so it would not hear me and  think I was not home or I would go to the extreme and turn up the music so I could not hear loss knocking even if it new I was home. At any level this is still denial in full bloom. I worked so hard at pretending that loss was not there to visit me. As I reflect on my life I remember some very specific times loss showed up to pay me a visit.
  • When a teacher in 1st grade told me I was stupid in-front of the whole class
  • When I personally realized that I would never be the most liked popular guy.
  • When I realized that I was not good at sports no matter how hard I tried.
  • When my mom told me that she was going to ask my dad to leave the house then she asked me to give my permission for her to do it.
  • The first time that I put illegal drugs into my body.
  • When one of the three friends I had died due to cancer when I was 10.
  • When I lost my virginity at the age of 12 to a girl who was using me to make her ex boyfriend jealous of her in order to get him back.
  • When my dad told me that every kid gets picked on and that it develops character so I just needed to deal with it.
  • When I was 10 I stole (and got caught) a silver B key chain holder from K Mart and my mom made me take it back to the managers office.
  • When I decided that if I wanted to be safe then I would have to protect myself bc I was the only one that I could trust.
  • When I realized that no one paid any attention to me unless I was in trouble or hurt, this affirmed to me that I was not likeable or worth any value. 
  • When I realized that I could not make my way in life through eduction and being book smart so I decided to work with my hands and make my own way in life.
  • The day I began working for a large drug cartel in Mexico / Columbia
  • The day that I was sitting in a pile of seizure notices and my wife at that time told me she was taking my dog and leaving me.
Questions About Loss
Is loss bad or good?
Should we avoid loss or face it?
Is loss out enemy or our friend?
Does loss always find us or do we sometimes find it?
Does loss happen to some of us or all of us?
Does loss happen to good people or only bad people?
Isn't there away around it to avoid it?

As a teenager growing up in the country about 3 miles from town I would ofter cross multiple property lines to get to town, school, mall or a friends house. There were several pieces of property that had dogs on them and one of these dogs chased me for what seemed like forever. I remember how mad he was and he did everything he could in order to get a piece of me. I remember one time that I stepped onto the property and there was no dog.
I waiting a minute or two then proceeded across the property. I kept wondering where the dog was because it was so quite as I trespassed on this property. I had just reached the half way mark when all the sudden, I heard this loud noise behind me. He had been hiding so that I could not see him then he came up from behind me in order to catch me by surprise. Surprised I was! I ran faster that day than any day before. He did not want to really eat me but he did want me off his territory.
I began to feed him before crossing his territory and over time he let me cross even when there was the occasion that I did not have food with me. Did I become best friends with this dog? Did we role around on the ground together and play? Did he follow me home and become my dog? No, but he would let me feed him then he would lay down and let me walk off. I got to the point to where I turned my back on him and kept walking, now that is trust. Or, maybe just stupidity on my part.
At any rate the point of this story was to say that we can not ignore the barking dogs in our life. It does not matter weather we are at fault or not. When loss comes to you it requires a response. If you do not respond you will find yourself in a holding pattern until you do respond to it.You can pretend it is not there, you can move to a different city, get a different job, find a different church, marry a different spouse but the fact remains. Loss does not leave your side until you sit with it and listen to what is has to say. Loss speaks to you if you will only listen.

Loss Speaks In Certain Ways
  • It helps you see what you could have done differently in order to not be the cause of this happening again.
  • It reveals to you the true condition of your heart.
  • It blows away the fog so that you can see your true attitude of heart towards people, places and things.
  • It connects you with your greatest fear. This is good because your will not grown beyond the level of your fears.
  • It helps you to position yourself in a place of awareness to accept personal responsibility for your life and life choices.
  • It speaks to you about personal victory and unseen potential within yourself, however you have to look past the part of feeling like a defeated failure.
  • When it speaks to you it causes your world to slow down which can help you see things you have never seen.
  • It shows you the carousel pattern in your life so that you can get off that ride. Why go to an amusement park full of rides and spend the day going in circles on the merry go round carousel?
  • When you see how vulnerable we are to loss it aids you in being more merciful, kind and compassionate to others around you.
  • It helps you come down off your soap box so that you can relate to people around you in a real relationship rather than a dictatorship.
  • It helps you make the hard choice, do I want to go on living or do I lay here and die?
  • It connects you with your true created potential deep within your heart. Until you are in a do or die situation you never know what you are made out of.
  • It helps you to see that life still goes on and that it is bigger than you thought it was.
  • It provides you with a rare opportunity to get something you could not get at any other place and time in your life.

Loss and I have become friends, we don't hang out together and go to the movies together, loss is not my identity but it is part of my life like it or not. Loss has helped make me who I am today, everything that I am is in part of what I have been through and the way I have chosen to deal with it.
These are some conclusions that I am seeing at the age of 42. I see loss as being so benificial in my life that I now have given loss a open invitation to my house anytime. When it comes in I will sit with it and see what it is saying to me. This means I choose to not run, hide, fight, fear or ignore it but will listen to what it has to say to me and to my circumstances. My current prospective of loss is that it is a unique opportunity to grow in an unfamiliar way.

Two Types of Loss
What do I do with loss? On one hand I have chosen to sit with it and not run from it but on the other hand and I not going to pitch a tent there and call it home. Where is the balance in all of this? As I have researched and processed this over a lengthy period I have come to several conclusions. When we begin to see that loss leads us to gain this puts us on a path of healing. Yes, I believe that loss leads us to gain if we go through it in a healthy way.
  • Healthy Loss
First of all it is important to know that were the spirit of God is there is freedom. Most of us want to leave Him out of the process of loss because we think we believe He caused it or He allowed it. Because most of us do not know God's true nature we leave Him out of loss thinking that it will make it easier and keep it more manageable.
When we choose to enter into loss and I do not mean loss happening to us. Loss happens to all people but not all people choose to enter into it and process it. In it we allow all attitudes, emotions, judgements, memories, and  others to surface.
Yes, you allow the things that are already being kept repressed inside of you to come out. This may sound overwhelming to you but it is not as overwhelming as trying to live each day of your life like you are happy and everything is good when you know down inside of you, you are a step away from a breakdown. Now, that's overwhelming?
Here is the key. Very important! Might as well put a public health announcement on this. YOU HAVE TO DO THIS WITH ONE OR MORE HUMAN BEINGS! That is what brings loss to a stop and begins the process of gain, growth, healing, recovery, restoration. Whatever you want to call it. I do not personally believe that loss should be an endless cycle which replays over and over again for the rest of your life. I believe loss awakens awareness in us and through processing it with other humans we find a deeper meaning in life and love as our conclusion rather than isolation and distrust.
Most of us have loss because of another human being. Someone betrayed or abused us, they lied or attacked us, they promised us something and did not follow through with it. Other times it is someone we do not know that hurt us or hurt someone we know or love. All people make bad choices and these choices effect others which in turn causes loss.
  • Un healthy Loss
Loss comes to this person just like it does to all of humanity but this person chooses to ignore it and avoid it. Here are some things I have said and also commonly hear from people that are trapped in the cycle of un healthy loss.
I am doing great!
I have already dealt with that, they say this while they are standing 5 feet away from you because they do not want to get close to anyone.
I dont want to talk about that, God knows my heart.
God and I are working it our together.
I need to just hang on and day this will be over.
What are you talking about that is in the past?
I spoke with that person and we got everything worked out, but they haven't spoken to them in 5 years.
That did not bother me like it would most people, I am fine.
I went to counseling for several weeks and feel better now.
Since I have been going to church everything is better.
I moved to a different city and now have a fresh start so everything is going to be alright.
They were not a compadable mate but one day I will meet my match made in heaven.
All children die sometimes and it was just their time.

Un healthy loss will follow you everywhere you go, it moves with you, it re decorates your home with you, it changes churches with you, it learns to behaviors with you, it enters into your new spouses life with you. Everything you do brings loss with you until you choose to face in and allow it to do its work in you which will bring you a deeper meaning of life and love. In my opinion the same experience of  loss does not have to cycle forever in your life.
Everything in life breads life to its own kind. Loss breads more loss. What I am saying is that if you are stuck in loss and can not figure out why you seem to have more loss than anyone else around you maybe it is because the cycle you are refusing to enter into in order to be healed is reproducing its own kind. Loss gives birth to more loss.

Judas kiss to Jesus 
We must see that loss is not the end of the road
Loss is a stopping place and birthing place at the same time
Loss brings us to an awareness of what is really in our heart
The only way loss can produce healing is for someone giving you the freedom to be who you really are, if you hold on to any part of loss it will not let you go.
The hard part about getting healed through loss is because many times relationships have caused the loss and our source of healing and freedom will be found in relationships

Lazarus was wrapped in loss but the people around him loosened the clothes and set him free

Loss is a tool that can reveal things to us that no other tool in the universe can do.
Peter said count it all Joy knowing - we have to know 

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