Am I lost in my loss?
Contribution by Lidia Sánchez Calero, Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain.
We all know or will know, at some point, how hard losses are and nobody wants to go through them. But they are part and parcel of life and nothing can be done to avoid them. A few days ago I suffered one of those losses that we fear so much. The state of shock was unexpected, I did not know whether to cry, run, become angry or hurl insults because of the harm that had just been done to me. The only thing that I was clear about, at that moment, was that I had to go back to work, so I deferred the impact on my state of mind until I had time to process it. That day I had a lot of hassle and I did not want to stop and think about what had happened. Among the commitments I had that day was to attend a conference about attention to the present and that is when what I want to share with you began. One of the exercises for deliberately paying attention consisted in evoking an uncomfortable or unpleasant episode to observe ourselves. I chose the incident from that morning…
It was not at all pleasant to feel the tension, my clenched stomach, the anger, the anxiety, the fear…but it was liberating to acknowledge them. This awareness made me accept them.
Accept not just what I felt but also the decision taken by the other person.
My inner struggle ceased, giving way to a feeling of sadness that ended up fading away as I observed it without resisting it.
Every moment becomes intense. My rule is to feel, NOT to let myself be swept along by thoughts. I do things more slowly so that I am aware of what my hands are taking, I eat calmly and consciously, I do not do two things at a time at work, I ask people not to consult me while I am typing away at my computer, I do not want haste to take away my attention towards myself. I breathe and I feel that I breathe. I experience and feel what EXISTS. When sadness comes, I feel the sadness and anxiety or whatever affects me as part of the flow of my life. And that way I continue to be present in myself, in whatever state of mind I experience. I do not seek to run away from grief, on the contrary, I seek to be aware of it because there is no way of escaping from it. Because if I fight I make myself suffer, and there is no need to add fuel to the fire. I do not have to feel that I am lost in my loss but to feel that I am finding myself through it.