What have you lost recently that you miss from your life? Is it an intimate relationship? A career? Finances or something else? What emotions did you experience? Perhaps it was fear, anger, or other negative emotions? Have you recovered from your loss or are you still coming to terms with it?
I want to reassure you that what was taken from you will be replaced by something better in due course. I don’t want to give you a false hope that losing a relationship will be replaced with another person. Sometimes, people leave our life with no explanation. Regrettably, I don’t have all the answers, since I am subject to the same fate.
However, there’s one thing I’ve learned. When something is taken from my life, there is a period of grief, followed by something greater coming into my life. For example, I lost my father to Type 2 diabetes well before his time. His passing sent me on a quest to understand the human condition and why some people live a long life while others succumb to illness. It soon became my quest to understand the connection between mind, body and spirit.
So yes, while my father passed away early, the universe gave me something I could not have expected, and that was the gift of: insight, compassion, humility and wisdom. Some of you may have lost your job amid the Coronavirus pandemic. It may have been a loss in your finances, perhaps the breakup of an intimate relationship. These things can affect us long after they’re gone. Therefore, we ought to grieve over our loss and console ourselves before moving on. We may or may not find meaning in our circumstances. Either way, the meaning we ascribe is subjective because we don’t really know the full extent to why things happen. We can only speculate to put our minds at ease.
Can you relate to this? Are you still looking for why a benevolent universe can be cruel and unjust sometimes? It is normal to entertain these thoughts, however they can take us down the rabbit hole of despair, searching for answers. They may or may not come, so I invite you to focus on the lessons gained from the experience rather than search for their meaning. I can’t explain why unfortunate events happen, and it would be remiss of me to even try. What I can do is help you make sense of what happened, to move forward as best you can. It is about re-empowering ourselves with new insights, wisdom, and seeing our misfortunes through the eyes of kindness and self-compassion.
The universe is barely predictable because life can change at the drop of a hat. People’s lives are turned upside down and they’re forced into hopeless situations with no prior warning. But here’s one thing I know: The universe gives us more in return when it takes something from our lives. It gives us the gift of wisdom, resiliency, humility, compassion, and strength of character. We cannot buy these virtues online because they take years to develop, were it not for our heartbreak and pain. What I’m saying is: When we are forced into a situation not of our choosing, we discover the essence of who we really are.
We all experience pain and suffering, and the degree to which we suffer is based on how we view our misfortunes. Having studied the lives of centenarians over the years, many of them endured pain and suffering throughout their lives. The one common denominator to their endurance is the will to live. Viktor Frankl described this idea in his book, Man’s Search for Meaning. Those who endured extreme suffering during the Holocaust in Nazi Germany discovered the will to live and went on to share their stories with thousands of others. Hardship strengthens our resolve and helps us decide what is important in our lives. Our pain becomes the healing agent to heal other’s pain and suffering.
We may use our pain to focus on areas of importance to us such as social justice, inequality, environmental issues, or other issues affecting humanity. When people lose something of importance, some find a deeper meaning in their disaster. I’m reminded of those who lose family members in tragic circumstances, such as car accidents or murder and rape. Some start social causes devoted to helping the lives of those affected by these tragic events.
So, what am I saying? Trust. See if you can accept what happened, and trust the universe to use your pain for your own good or the betterment of others. Life is neither fair nor unfair. Our mind justifies these thoughts to make sense of unfortunate events. Life is doing its job while supporting our personal growth. So, if the universe has taken something from your life, something better may take its place in the foreseeable future. After all, it was the Greek philosopher Aristotle who said, “Nature abhors a vacuum.” Meaning: something of equal value or better will fill its place.