Monday, 20 October 2014

Loss and Love

It’s coming up to another end of year and, as per every year, albeit this year a little earlier than usual for some unknown reason, I start to evaluate everything that has happened and everything that, potentially, is yet to come - not only with regards to my life but, also, with regards to my life in respect to everything and everyone around me.

This year, more than usual, there seems to have been a lot of loss around me. Or, maybe the older we get, the more natural it becomes for people to start departing this plain. Many people I have had the pleasure of exchanging views with and walking the path with, for a while now, virtually and otherwise, have passed into the realm of peace. Many others, as I type, are going through some kind of suffering; whether it be illness, inability to survive in a world where money has become an essential part of living, natural disasters or heartbreak.
The point is, everyone on this planet suffers with something.

As a lot of you know, even though I accept death as just another step in our evolutionary process, I have been struggling with my own grief for the last 4 years after the death of someone who was like a baby sister, a daughter and a friend. I grasped at every single memory, wept on every occasion and, even, went as radically far as up rooting; leaving a perfectly good life in Madeira to retreat to Spain. Yet, nothing eased the pain except the slow acceptance of the cycle of life and time even when it seems to be at its cruelest.

The truth is, there is no such thing as a cruel life. Life is what we make it and we end up with what we attract. Every thought produces an action. Every action creates a pattern and every pattern draws us to what we want; whether we truly want it or not. What we invest our energy into is what we will ultimately attract. We, basically, get what we focus on. We create every aspect of our lives and we choose who to have in it.

People argue that they don’t attract bad people, or disasters, into their lives, but they do. Whatever you put our into the world, is what you will get back. If you think negative and behave negatively, you will attract negativity and negative people. If you think positively and behave positively, you will attract goodness and everything that is positive for your life.
The best part about all this is that we choose. Nobody chooses for us.

When we close ourselves off in a dark hole, and trust me, I know because I did it for a year while I was still in Madeira and a another year after I came to Spain, everything around us becomes dark. Maybe through the trauma or the great shock we receive, we become blind to everything and everyone around us because it’s almost as if we’re looking at an invisible brick wall that stands between the sorrow we feel and the happiness that awaits us on the other side. The best bit is that a part of us wants to see over the wall and experience that happiness while another part of us wants to continue to wallow in sorrow.  

I hear you ask why we would wish to wallow in our sorrow and pain when it’s so destructive for us. Well, for one, because it’s easier to become the victim in our own self pity than it is to stand strong and be happy.  Two, whilst we are a victim, people show us loving kindness and attention, and three, most people have a complex of some kind and for some absurd reason, they feel unworthy of love and happiness and, thus, feel guilty at feeling joy at such a sad time. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a conscious feeling but, none the less, it’s there. Let’s not forget, as well, that in a kind of sadistic way, our pain becomes our comfort. It becomes a safe place where we can hide and not have to face the world.

As far as loss goes, of anyone or anything, we need to remember that nothing in life is permanent. Everything is subject to change. Chatting about the cruelty of life and people being snatched away from us, I recently said to a friend on Facebook
that nobody is snatched from anybody. It may feel that way but, in truth, we all have a time to come into this world and a time to leave. It’s the Kalachakra of life (according to Buddhism).  We all come here with a purpose and our purposes may be very different to one another. When we have achieved that purpose, we depart. We carry on with our journey; leaving others to carry on with theirs. What we need to accept is that every single hello must end with a goodbye of some kind because everyone has their own journey to travel, and sadly, we must travel it alone.

Of course, along our path, on this beautiful journey of life, we meet many people. Some stay in our lives for long periods of time and some just walk a short distance with us. We will never forget some people and others, we will forget the minute they're gone. We grieve the loss, but what we should do instead is rejoice the time we shared together, good or bad, rejoice for what we learned, rejoice for the strength a situation gave us, rejoice because we changed our way of thinking, we became a little wiser, a little more patient, a little more flexible or even a little more loving and compassionate. Everyone on our path taught us something. When we look back without the emotions attached to a person or a situation, we find that we grew more with what, apparently, seemed bad than with what apparently seemed like roses and poetry. 

We focus too much on the negative. Instead, we should think about the positive. First and foremost, for me it’s an honour and a blessing that someone else would want to share our journey and walk our path with us, whether it’s for a day, a month, a year or a lifetime. Since we all have the free will to choose to do as we please, some more than others of course, I consider it of the highest honour that another human being chooses to be my friend, my lover, my partner and a life long influence, because even long after that person has chosen to leave my life, the influence remains and the lessons learned never leave me. In this time of virtual friendships, it’s even more of an honour that someone you’e never met would want to be there for you and share in your life. 

At some point during everyone’s life, someone has loved them without being retributed, how lucky is that? Usually when it happens we are not mature enough to appreciate it. Just think how lucky it is to love someone who doesn’t love you back. It shows you are capable of loving without receiving; that you can give without expecting anything in return. Of course, we get too involved in the despair of it all, and the selfishness of expecting them to love us right back, to truly understand what a blessing it is. If only we could harness that love, control it and direct it at every human being on this planet and help them, in some way, without expecting anything in return. What a wonderful world we would create. 

Anyone who has ever been shown love or shown love is truly lucky. Some people will live their entire life without knowing what love, kindness and compassion are. Even when someone treats us badly, rips us off or tries to hurt us, we are lucky. Those people are teaching us to be wise and cautious. They help to improve our sense of understanding of this materialistic world we live in, which helps us to navigate our way through all obstacles we encounter. If we could stop for a moment and see those people as our teachers, we could smile at the whole situation instead of causing grievous bodily harm to ourselves with stress, anger and impotence.

As for losing things, well, the trick is to never be attached to something so much that you can’t live without it. Nothing lasts, and as many disasters have proven to us, it only takes a split second for everything to be reclaimed by mother nature. Nothing is truly ours anyway. As I discovered, first hand, when I had my near death experience, we take nothing with us into the next phase of being; literally nothing. 

Owning possessions has become a way for clever corporations to make you a slave for their ever increasing bank account. Things have become a way to keep people distracted, amused and separated. With more, or less, things, we believe in a so called differential social class. We compete with each other for the bigger, the best and the newest. It’s only because we believe in this social class that it exists, because, believe it or not, we are all the same. No amount of possessions and no fictitious social standing is going to protect anyone from disease, illness or death.

Owning as many possessions as possible has been sold, to us, as a reward system for the hard labour we endure in order to buy things. Marketing campaigns are so psychologically clever that we crave things before they come on the market. We queue for hours to buy, buy, buy. We’ve allowed ourselves to become slaves of things to such a point that we’ve put their importance above that of human lives. In fact, we’ve become immune to the loss of life.

We are slaves to TV; mind-washed by fear and always fighting for something or other; whether it be physically (as in war), emotionally (as in spiritual) or mentally (as in intellectually and politically.) 

I think it’s time we all realise just how much impact we have on one another and I think it’s time we make some conscious decisions about whether that impact is positive or not. I influence you, you influence your friend, your friend influences their friend and before you know it the whole world has been touched by one person. Be responsible in your choices, your thoughts and your actions, please, for all our sakes.

One global love

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