“Have you ever lost big?”
I was listening to an interview on the radio the other day when this question was asked. The interviewee, a professional gambler, laughed.
“Well, of course,” he said. “Several times; it’s inevitable.”
“So, what do you do?”
The gambler sounded ruefully amused. “You fold your hand; you walk away. Then you find another table and you play another day.”
It has been said that life is a gamble and maybe it is. The difference is, at the Blackjack table if you play small, then you don’t lose much. In life, even if you play small, you can still lose everything.
Have you ever lost big?
I have; for lots of different reasons. I lost my father to suicide; I’ve lost valued jobs through incompetence (accountancy was the wrong career for me); my first marriage ended in divorce; I lost a lot of money when I trusted the word of a liar; I lost a dearly valued friend through my own selfish and thoughtless actions; I lost the man who stood in as my father because death took him at 83.
None of us go through life without suffering loss, and the bigger the love, the bigger the loss. By love, I don’t just mean human relationships: one can love a job, a pet, a hobby, a sport, the security and promise of future satisfaction in a financial investment; it’s still love.
Some losses are expected – they are inevitable; our loved ones will not live forever. Some losses are our own fault. Some losses are small, yet still we grieve.
If we cling to that loss and grief, however, we never give ourselves permission to find love and joy again.
Letting go of pain and grief is hard. Sometimes it feels as if we are denying the love, the loss of which brought that pain. It is difficult to relinquish anger at the person who lied and stole from you. It is difficult to relinquish the vain hope of reconciliation with that friend or lover who is gone. It’s difficult to fold that losing hand and walk away. But, without relinquishment, we cannot find love again, invest again, find satisfaction in another job or make room for other friends in our life. While a new love can never replace an old love; it expands the heart to encompass and grow more love. Our heart gets bigger the more we love.
There is also the problem of knowing exactly when it’s the right time to walk away – but that’s another blog for another day.
This morning I heard news which will inevitably mean another loss: more pain and more grief – and not just for me.
Loss and grief is the inevitable price one pays for love. The bigger the love, the bigger the loss.
It’s still better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
And I would rather love big, lose big and find an even bigger love next time.
A Moodscope member.
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