- 16 Nov
Empowering Yourself After a Loss
If you look at the news, your friend’s social media posts, and listen to your family, it is apparent that loss is a part of life. You may be experiencing the effects of a recent loss yourself.
When our lives are profoundly shifted and we have to say goodbye to what we’ve known, valued or simply loved, we get to the core of what matters to us. And how we relate to what matters… actually really matters. We can relate in ways that are either attached or connected. Let me expand on that.
Attached vs Detached
Attached means “fastening one thing to another with ties”. We become attached to things, to outcomes, to people, to ideas, conditions, and beliefs. We attach ourselves to these things and put importance on them rather than how we feel when we are in or around them. We hang onto a picture or outcome as though our life depends on it and when that picture is changed it can feel like life is over. We have given our power away to something outside ourselves.
Being un-attached or detached comes when we are in a kind of observer mode. When we detach we watch the goings on around us, and yet are still very much present. Detachment is the state we enter when we trust ourselves to more often simply notice rather than act on the need to fix or control the external world. We observe the event, and we observe our own human response to that event as the observer.
Connection is about joining. When we are connected to another person, to something we have built or to what or whom we love we’ve connected to our values and what has a deeper meaning for us. We understand that it is the experience of these external things, relationships, beliefs, and conditions that ultimately matters. We discover our capacity to feel, to love and to create those experiences in many different ways.
When we experience the loss of something or someone that we’re connected to, we feel the incredible grief and pain of that loss … and we still have the essence of that person, relationship, object, house, idea, or job inside us. We experience ourselves through that other person, that home or that way of living. We connect with our values, purpose, passions and deepest self, even in the face of profound change. We connect with our own capacity to love and trust.
Dis-connection, on the other hand, is when we have lost a sense of one-ness. There is separation. We are no longer joined through the awareness of love. Whenever we are disconnected we are likely to be attached to an outcome.
A Powerful Combination
Taking one strength from each description, we can choose to be detached and deeply connected at the same time. It’s a powerful combination and one I believe has great value.
When we have lost something, or life profoundly changes, we have a chance for renewal. We have the opportunity to move through the grief, honoring it and letting it move, all the while remaining connected on a deep and meaningful level with those we love whether they are present or not, with those we encounter, and with all that we do in the world.
Simultaneously we can practice detachment. That allows us to observe ourselves and others from a place of compassion and faith in the bigger picture.
If we can do this, we are more likely to respond to a situation than to react and can take things less personally. This leaves a lot of room for intelligence, clarity, and healing. It means that we give ourselves the gift—when we’re ready—to start anew in a way that honors the core of our being. We let go of the way we thought things should look, and keep the experiences, the feelings, and the vision that is borne from the deepest parts of us and that nothing can ever destroy.
About the Author
Justina Vail Evans
Justina is a personal development coach, speaker, award-winning author, and award-winning actor.