Some sorrow is shared. Some is so intensely personal that we know we are the only person who feels it, who carries its pain.
Some losses are fleeting. Where did I put my keys? We will play again next week.
Some loss is devastating; the loss of innocence, the loss of trust, the loss of what I loved most in the world.
Our lives are shaped, and strengthened, by the sorrow and loss we experience.
My deepest sorrow is so painfully deep because it is unexpected. The recognition I deserve is withheld. The love I give is not returned. The dreams and plans which I have struggled to bring into reality turn to dust.
I feel loss for things I have never actually had, but expected to have.
I am the product of a culture that feeds expectations. When our expectations are not met, no matter how unrealistic they may be, we experience loss.
Slowly, I am beginning to appreciate the lessons that loss and sorrow have to teach me.
My sorrow shows me deep truths about my expectations. When we take the time to explore beneath the immediate shock of a loss, we can ask ourselves about its origins. What have we actually lost? Why did we expect things to be different?
We also learn valuable truths about responding to loss. Though it may feel like a descent into a tunnel that shuts out the light, that is not the full story.
Our journey is like walking a labyrinth. We begin by going more and more deeply into the path. It may feel like the path will never end, but it is a path toward the center. We spend as much time as we need there, then we head back out to share how we have grown.
What sorrow is shaping your life today?
[Image by lebce]