Chapter 23

The Necessity of Loss

Loss is an essential part of life. It is necessary to growth. It also deepens our spiritual potential, increasing the ability to experience all aspects of life. The pain of loss can be born with grace when we remember that it is an integral part of the universal whole, whose central urge is the greater good of all humankind.

Watching autumn leaves go through the natural process of change, slipping away to make way for new life, provides inspiration and instruction for humanity. We feel the intense beauty of color, vibrant individual bursts, blending to form a fabulous whole. We watch the breezes carry leaves through the air to end as masses of ground color, joy for childish enthusiasm, beauty for all ages.

Thus it can be for humankind. Letting go of what can no longer give vitality to our lives lends us a special beauty, a richness and vibrancy that arises from a sense of oneness with oneself. When we let go of the need to sustain what has lost its life force for us, we can open ourselves to new experience. Without the need to reach continually to what was the sun and seed of our lives, we once again become part of the free flow of life, part of the graceful movement from old to new, from loss to fulfillment.

Learning to deal with loss is the means through which each of us can realize our full potential. The grandeur of human life lies in its ability to triumph over the challenges that inevitably lie in our path. We learn depth and sensibility through love, courage and personal endurance in the face of the obstacles before us.

It is also in learning to accept loss that we find the kind of love that we seek most in life. In shared loss, our relationships gain depth as we aid each other through difficulties. The only thing that binds more than laughter is the warmth of comfort in times of tears. When we take someone’s hand to share and understand their pain, we are intertwining our spirits. When we give warmth to a person feeling loss, we are tacitly accepting that loss with them, and we are helping them to do the same.

Out of pain comes the grandeur of human existence. Out of loss comes the acceptance of possibility and a belief in our own potential as part of a creative universe. Out of shared suffering come loving bonds unmatched by any other. The most beautiful of spirits is one who has faced loss with grace and love and hope for the future of all humankind.


     Ferns greened with fresh air and life
     retreat with me, within
     remembering summer’s sweetness and song.

     Now we view the world
     from the same sheltered place,
     watching windowed mists
     skim cooled waters
     as passing birds arch
     in effortless grace,
     seeking a new home for a calmer life,
     a new world far from our sight.

     How lovely to hold what summer held,
     glorious June days and hot summer nights,
     as we look upon a new season.


I am part of a universe which is continually renewing itself. Understanding the vitality of all existence, I find the courage to leave behind what is complete.

I feel compassion for the losses of others, as I do for my own. Strength comes to me from the love we share in the process of letting go. We are all one with the universe.

I accept that in order to grow I must release what is no longer fruitful in my life. I accept the loss of what I once needed knowing that this makes possible all new things.


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