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7 Things Losing The One You Loved Teaches You

7 Things Losing The One You Loved Teaches You

“Bad things do happen; how I respond to them defines my character and the quality of my life. I can choose to sit in perpetual sadness, immobilized by the gravity of my loss, or I can choose to rise from the pain and treasure the most precious gift I have – life itself” Walter Anderson

Losing someone you love through changes such as: death, divorce, relationship demise, or miscarriage, is a painful and emotional experience. The experience of loss is a life challenge that happens to all of us and for most  of us, it happens more than once in our lives.

I remember the first time, in my early twenties when I lost someone I loved. He decided that he didn’t love me and that we needed to move on. I was devastated and didn’t know how I would survive the pain.

I did survive and in fact as a result of that break up I decided to step out of my comfort zone. I went and lived overseas for number of years. Though I didn’t think so at the time he ended up doing me a big favor.

The loss of my parents was another life test that threw my world into chaos and pain. I remember thinking the same thing as I did when I was going through my relationship break up in my early twenties, “How am I ever going to survive this pain?”

Well, I have survived and as a result of these losses in my life I have become emotionally stronger and resilient.  I believe that it is these life challenges that provide us with the opportunity for personal growth and to learn some of the most important lessons in our lives.

“In school you are taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you are given a test that teaches you a lesson” Malcolm X

I love the quote from Malcolm X as he explains so well how we are taught our lessons of life – we have to be tested to learn the lesson. Losing someone you love is a test of life and you have no control over the challenges that life throws at you. What you do have however is the power to control your response to these life challenges.

Here are 7 valuable things that I learned as a result of losing people in my life who I have loved deeply.

I would like to share these learnings with you to encourage you, to live your life to the fullest, to chase your dreams, to deal with the curveballs that life throws at you, to seize the moment and to treasure the gifts of life, love and laughter.

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1.Live Your Life to the Fullest As It Can Change In A Blink Of An Eye

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable”. Helen Keller

My father and mother died within 3 days of each other and when they died my life changed in a blink of an eye. From from that day I realized just how precious life is. How important it is to live in the moment, to be present and not to wish away your life.

If you have a dream but you are too scared to go for it –don’t wait for the right time, as it never is the right time, just do it. Find a way and go for it. My priorities  also changed and I realised that I needed to get clear about what was important in my life.  For me it was my family and my friends who were most important in my life. Following my dream, to be a writer, speaker and coach became the most important thing for me to do in my life. I knew that I had to follow my dream because I didn’t want to look back at my life  with regret and  wished I had given it a go.

Life is too short to have regrets! Embrace life, take the time to make memories and cherish the moments you spend with the people you love. Get your priorities sorted and know what is important to you.

2. Appreciate And Show Gratitude As People Matter More Than Anything 

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance” Eckhart Tolle

The people you surround yourself with – your family and friends is your treasure chest. They are more important than all the money, the power or fame, the cars, the clothes, the houses, the boats, or the overseas holidays you may have.

All these material things you gather, your fortune and your power are easy to get and easy to lose. The people in your life who love and support you, once you lose them you cant get them back.

Always show your love and appreciate those you love in your life. Remember that the people you touch with your appreciation and gratitude will bring great joy and enrichment to your life. Don’t be afraid to show your love and affection to people. Take the time to make the phone call to a friend you haven’t seen in ages. Don’t let your pain and despair isolate you from people. Make the time to nurture and grow your relationships. You need the energy of others to help you heal.

I realized this lesson very early on in my journey. I could not have survived the loss of my parents without my family and my friends.

3. Healing Is A Process – get to know the process and don’t rush it!

And so I wait. I wait for time to heal the pain and raise me to me feet once again – so that I can start a new path, my own path, the one that will make me whole again.” ― Jan Canfield

Loss hurts. We may feel anger at being left by the person we love, we may feel despair, sadness and be fearful about our future.

What we are feeling is very real and you need to go through the process and feel your grief. Accept that it takes time to heal and that here is light at the end of the dark tunnel. You just have to get through the dark tunnel. You can bury pain deep within you and think that you are coping and you can get on with life.  But, I guarantee that if you don’t acknowledge and deal with your emotional pain, it will find you. The hidden layers of pain will erupt back into your life with such force you won’t know what has hit you.

Another important part  I believe of the healing process is Forgiveness. This is one of the hardest things to do, especially when you have been rejected and and betrayed by the one you love.

The negative thoughts that come  with your anger and pain are soul destroying. The more you hate and despise the person you have lost, the less likely it is that you will heal.

Forgiveness does not happen overnight. It is a process that takes time and patience. However, when you free yourself of  negative thoughts and behaviours, you become more empowered to  strive to live a life that is full of hope, optimism and happiness.

Always be kind to yourself. It took me a long time to learn to be kind to me and to make time for me. If I had spent more time looking after me, sharing my pain rather than trying to be strong all the time – my healing would have been a less bumpier journey.

4. Use Your Power Of Choice – choose to live a happy life and choose to be hopeful.

There is a saying in Tibetan, ‘Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength.No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that’s our real disaster.” Dalai Lama XIV

We cannot control the bad things that happen in our life, however we can control our reactions to these challenging events through our Power of Choice.

Essentially how we live our life is determined by how we choose to live it.

When we step into using our Power of Choice we are actively seeking solutions to deal with the challenges we have to face. Using our power of choice empowers us to recognise how we can move forward

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.To move forward we maintain our hope for a better future and with hope comes a happy life. A very simple recipe to life however we can sabotage this recipe to living a happy life by not trusting ourselves to step out of our comfort zone.

Choose to turn your loss and pain into a life learning journey, where the result for you is,  you have become stronger, more empowered and live a more enriched life.

 5. Find You and Your Purpose in Life

When you lose something in your life, stop thinking it’s a loss for you… it is a gift you have been given so you can get on the right path to where you are meant to go, not to where you think you should have gone” Suze Orman

Each time I have lost someone I loved either in death or a relationship break I have learned so much about me.

For me, having a life purpose gives my  life meaning. Don’t waste your energy on what is not important. Focus on what you have, not what you don’t have. Don’t be overwhelmed by the journey to find your purpose in life – it is a big journey.

Make a plan and take action – don’t give up. Set realistic and achievable goals and take one step at a time.

Celebrate your successes – each time you achieve your goal no matter how small or how big, celebrate it and share your successes with those you love. Happiness comes when you know what you are doing, believe in what you are doing and love what you are doing.

The pursuit of your happiness is all about you living a meaningful life and when you find your purpose in life, you increase your happiness  by 200 percent.

6. Don’t Let Your Past Rule Your LIfe Now And In The Future

You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the future”  Jan Glidewell

Your past is your opportunity to learn the lessons you need to deal with your present life.

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Let go of your regrets in life, make peace with your past, accept it and move on. Look for opportunities for self-discovery and learn how to trust and believe in you.

You are not what happened in your past, you are whom you choose to be now and in your future. Become the strong empowered resilient person you desire to be. The person who looks forward to the future and is living a happy fulfilled life.

7.  Don’t Run Away From Life – stay strong and embrace its unpredictability.

“Running away from your problems is a race you will never win, so just face them head on, and overcome them.” – Unknown

Life is a strange and amazing journey, full of painful experiences and beauty. Running away from the challenges life presents to us is not the answer to dealing with life. When you run away the only place you can go is nowhere!

The pain, the discomfort and the challenges of life will follow you where ever you go. It is ok to fall apart for a little while but only for a little while.

Unpredictable hardships in life are inevitable and when we overcome these hardships and meet them head on – we grow stronger, become more resilient and our life flourishes. Spend time on you, developing your strength and your resilience. Get prepared for life and be adaptable and flexible

. Remember that everything that happens to you is a life lesson – embrace life and never forget how precious the moments in life are.

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and found their way out of the depths. These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen”. Dr Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

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Kathryn Sandford

Career Resilience Coach passionate about supporting others to grow and thrive in a complex world.

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Last Updated on September 12, 2019

12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

12 Things You Should Remember When Feeling Lost in Life

Even the most charismatic people you know, whether in person or celebrities of some sort, experience days where they feel lost in life and isolated from everyone else.

While it’s good to know we aren’t alone in this feeling, the question still remains:

What should we do when we feel lost and lonely?

Here are 12 things to remember:

1. Recognize That It’s Okay!

The truth is, there are times you need to be alone. If you’ve always been accustomed to being in contact with people, this may prove difficult.

However, learning how to be alone and comfortable in your own skin will give you confidence and a sense of self reliance.

We cheat ourselves out of the opportunity to become self reliant when we look for constant companionship.

Learn how to embrace your me time: What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It

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2. Use Your Lost and Loneliness as a Self-Directing Guide

You’ve most likely heard the expression: “You have to know where you’ve been to know where you’re going.”

Loneliness also serves as a life signal to indicate you’re in search of something. It’s when we’re in the midst of solitude that answers come from true soul searching.

Remember, there is more to life than what you’re feeling.

3. Realize Loneliness Helps You Face the Truth

Being in the constant company of others, although comforting sometimes, can often serve as a distraction when we need to face the reality of a situation.

Solitude cuts straight to the chase and forces you to deal with the problem at hand. See it as a blessing that can serve as a catalyst to set things right!

4. Be Aware That You Have More Control Than You Think

Typically, when we see ourselves as being lost or lonely, it gives us an excuse to view everything we come in contact with in a negative light. It lends itself to putting ourselves in the victim mode, when the truth of the matter is that you choose your attitude in every situation.

No one can force a feeling upon you! It is YOU who has the ultimate say as to how you choose to react.

5. Embrace the Freedom That the Feeling of Being Alone Can Offer

Instead of wallowing in self pity, which many are prone to do because of loneliness, try looking at your circumstance as a new-found freedom.

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Most people are in constant need of approval of their viewpoints. Try enjoying the fact that  you don’t need everyone you care about to support your decisions.

6. Acknowledge the Person You Are Now

Perhaps you feel a sense of loneliness and confusion because your life circumstances have taken you away from the persona that others know to be you.

Perhaps the new you differs radically from the old. Realize that life is about change and how we react to that change. It’s okay that you’re not who you used to be.

Take a look at this article and learn to accept your imperfect self: Accept Yourself (Flaws and All): 7 Benefits of Being Vulnerable

7. Keep Striving to Do Your Best

Often those who are feeling isolated and unto themselves will develop a defeatist attitude. They’ll do substandard work because their self esteem is low and they don’t care.

Never let this feeling take away your sense of worth! Do your best always and when you come through this dark time, others will admire how you stayed determined in spite of the obstacles you had to overcome.

And to live your best life, you must do this ONE thing: step out of your comfort zone.

8. Don’t Forget That Time Is Precious

When we’re lost in a sea of loneliness and depression, it’s all too easy to reflect on regrets of past life events. This does nothing but feed negativity and perpetuate the situation.

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Instead of falling prey to this common pitfall, put one foot in front of the other and acknowledge every positive step you take. By doing this, you can celebrate the struggles you overcome at the end of the day.

9. Remember, Things Happen for a Reason

Every circumstance we encounter in our life is designed to teach us and that lesson is in turn passed on to others.

Sometimes we’re fortunate enough to figure out the lesson to be learned, while other times, we simply need to have faith that if the lesson wasn’t meant directly for us to learn from, how we handled it was observed by someone who needed to learn.

Your solitude and feeling of lost, in this instance, although painful possibly, may be teaching someone else.

10. Journal During This Time

Record your thoughts when you’re at the height of loneliness and feeling lost. You’ll be amazed when you reflect back at how you viewed things at the time and how far you’ve come later.

This time (if recorded) can give you a keen insight into who you are and what makes you feel the way you feel.

11. Remember You Aren’t the First to Feel This Way

It’s quite common to feel as if we’re alone and no one else has ever felt this way before. We think this because at the time of our distress, we’re silently observing others around us who are seemingly fine in every way.

The truth is, we can’t possibly know the struggles of those around us unless they elect to share them. We ALL have known this pain!

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Try confiding in someone you trust and ask them how they deal with these feelings when they experienced it. You may be surprised at what you learn.

12. Ask for Help If the Problem Persists

The feeling of being lost and lonely is common to everyone, but typically it will last for a relatively short period of time.

Most people will confess to, at one time or another, being in a “funk.” But if the problem persists longer than you feel it should, don’t ignore it.

When your ability to reason and consider things rationally becomes impaired, do not poo poo the problem away and think it isn’t worthy of attention. Seek medical help.

Afraid to ask for help? Here’s how to change your outlook to aim high!

Final Thoughts

Loneliness and a sense of feeling lost can in many ways be extremely painful and difficult to deal with at best. However, these feelings can also serve as a catalyst for change in our lives if we acknowledge them and act.

Above anything, cherish your mental well being and don’t underestimate its worth. Seek professional guidance if you’re unable to distinguish between a sense of freedom for yourself and a sense of despair.

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Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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