Talking to colleagues, clients, and friends about Love and Loss brought up an interesting conversation. I have experienced Love and Loss as the two sides of a coin that moves along on a parallel process. Love in relationships comes along with a sense of attachment which in turn has to face the possibility of loss at every moment.
In a healthy relationship, one moves from one phase of the relationship to another. Each transition takes letting go of that last phase of the relationship. Letting go of singlehood toward gaining couplehood, the loss of honeymoon stage as one move toward the next stage, loss of loverhood era to parenthood, letting go of being needed as a parent when children grow up, are all different ways that one goes through the natural transition of life and experience love and loss.
When we lose someone we love, whether is due to divorce, death, migration, or phase of life issues we go through a deep grief process. Each one of us goes through our process in a unique way depending on our style of attachment. Some get caught in denying and refusing to experience loss by acting as if nothing happened, for example holding on to the clothes or the room as it was when the person was alive.
Some fight the loss and get angry at the person for leaving or dying or doctors for letting this happen. Some bargain with many what if’s and hope to find the right scenario for the loss to go away and wake up from this bad dream to find the person again. Some go into despair and hopelessness and loss of their own identity. Some question the notion and the meaning of love and life while they face loss.
I have noticed that as one reaches the sadness of compassion for the self, healing happens. The love that was geared toward being fulfilled from the outside, comes from the inside toward the self. Completion with the relationship and the person also helps. Looking at what we learned from the relationship helps us with this completion and therefore letting go.
Acceptance of loss as a natural part of life, as a natural growth of human beings, and as a natural phase of relationships will allow us to pass through these processes with grace.
Allowing ourselves to accept loss as a natural ongoing phase, will help us not get stuck in the denial or fight it. Therefore, as we anticipate loss, we can also engage fully in relationships and life when it is present.
Some people due to their original negative experience of anxious attachment with their caregiver, experiencing extreme loss as a trauma in childhood, or the pain of losing a loved one, generalize this experience and live with constant fear and pain of loss. Reparenting the self and healing our childhood traumas will help us unite our different parts and become whole. We can then cherish the feeling of love and experience it fully when it is present and grieve it appropriately when it is lost versus living in the loss every day.
An expectation of the experience of love as a constant matter is an illusion, loss will be there no matter what. Generating love consistently regardless of the loss for yourself and others will create full enjoyment and will pull you through when you face loss.
For more ways in healing the self through these process go to my book “Life Reset – The Awareness Integration Path to the Life You Want”.