Wellness Matters NewsletterAn Experience in Creative Journaling

Courtesy of Life Esteem, Published by Simmonds Publications

Dealing With Loss
Loss Brings Pain - But Opens the Door to Gain

     L oss is embedded in the process of living. It happens to everyone and it is inevitable. There is no such thing as constant gain in our lives. Despite our wish to live in the security of abundance and perfect health, we necessarily must lose something. Indeed, time itself will eventually create loss. We come into this world with everything to gain and leave it with everything to lose. And in between we go through a series of gains and losses. Learning to accept both is a sign of wellness, maturity - and even wisdom.

     Losses can be catastrophic, such as the death of a partner, parent, child or close friend, or they can be minimal, such as losing a favorite houseplant or finding the first dent in your new car. Obviously, we usually accept minor losses quite well, but major losses can rule our lives for years with feelings of helplessness, confusion and overwhelming sadness. If our losses are not handled adaptively, they can drain us of energy and interfere with our ability to live fully in the present. If we are not able to process our losses and then let them go, we can spend our lives under the spell of old issues and past relationships, living in the past and failing to connect with the experiences of the present.


     There are many reasons why we may find it difficult to deal with losses. In the first place, contemporary society does not prepare us with adequate rituals and support to help people handle loss. We focus on gaining, acquisition and the promise of the future - and there is little social support for grieving loss and letting go. Indeed, we often avoid those who suffer loss just at the time they need the most support. On a more personal level, we may have difficulty in coping with loss because we never gained the tools in childhood for accepting loss. If we have problems with self-esteem, unresolved anger, jealousy, depression, excessive dependency, or poor interpersonal boundaries, we may find it difficult to shoulder loss. When we experience a series of losses without resolving them as they come along, it may be difficult to handle yet another one.

     We face numerous losses throughout the course of our lives. Some of our losses are built into the normal developmental milestones that are an expected part of the
life process. Humans feel impelled to move on, to
explore, to grow. But each time we move on to a new
phase of life, we must lose something of the old.



This newsletter is intended to offer general information only and recognizes that individual issues may differ from these broad guidelines. Personal issues should be addressed within a therapeutic context with a professional familiar with the details of the problems.

La Jolla, CA 92037

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