Learning to Value Loss & Lack
Yesterday was Father's Day and, for me, it was bittersweet.
Since I was a young girl, every Father's Day has felt the same to me:
A day to remind me just how deep my feelings of neglect, abandonment and grief ran.
I would love to tell you that at 30 years old these feelings have changed. And while they've lesser power over me now, they still exist. I'm not sure this wound will ever close. But instead of lamenting and feeling sorry for myself, I now choose to respond to my feelings and my reality with gratitude.
If you're grieving the loss or lack of a loved one, I challenge you today to do something you may have never done before:
1. Point out all of the ways this loss has helped you.
For example, my father's absence forced me to have faith in and rely on God as my father. Now, I have some incredible firsthand knowledge and experience that has forever deepened my soul.
I know it will hurt to acknowledge gratitude, but when we are hurting, it means something inside of us is changing. And just like a ship which stays at a port because of an anchor, we, too, harbor feelings of hurt and the have the same power to release the hurt.
How does one not feel hurt?
By changing your perspective about the situation.
It's also necessary to ask ourselves, how are we helping ourselves by choosing to withhold gratitude?
You deserve more.
2. Choose to see your lacks as an opportunity to receive more love from yourself and to give more love to others.
This is the whammy that hit me yesterday.
You know in Japanese culture, if they break a fine piece of china, they don't get angry or resentful. Instead, they take care to mend the dish and paint it with gold because it is this kind of wear that has added unique character to the piece.
Isn't that amazing?
We are all like these fine pieces of china, and somewhere along the way, no matter how good we look on the outside - no matter how successful our businesses are, no matter how much we are adored by others, no matter how much money we have - somewhere, we have cracks that are waiting for us to paint them with gold.
And the only way we can do that is by connecting with ourselves where it hurts.
My loss and lack has been a blessing because, truly, the grief I have experienced in my life has given me the opportunity to know the depth of Love some wait all their lives to find.
Because I have felt much hurt, I have had the opportunity to forgive much.
Because I have felt much neglect as a child and have carried that into adulthood, I have also had the opportunity to learn to be enough for myself, loving myself and pouring extra helpings of self-nourishment into my wounds.
Both of these things have given me the opportunity to receive so much more love and to give that much more love, too.
Isn't that beautiful?
I want to tell you a story...
Recently, I became good friends with a successful CEO.
Through our time together, I had learned this woman had lost her son and, even more tragically, she wasn't able to be at his side at his passing. I wish this was a unique story, but I know a handful of mothers who have the same experience.
The thing that stuck out to me about this woman, is that she truly dug inside to heal herself from the inside out. As she confronted her pain and grief, she gained control over her life.
Her business flourished and she actually let herself live again - guilt-free.
Many of us make the mistake of defining ourselves by our losses and lacks.
Would you define your business with a loss?
Any seasoned executive would realize that would be short-sighted - a business never grows without first failing. As long as we use those losses to propel us into improvement, the value is sure to increase as we resolve these gaps in value day-by-day.
It's the same with us.
We may not be able to eradicate grief, but we can have power over it, and that will lead to becoming the best version of ourselves for us and our loved ones.
If you can complete my challenge in moments of grief, you will find you really have all you need in yourself to overcome your feelings and experience childlike joy again.
You deserve it.