Tips to cope with loss

FITNESS FOR LIFE

Tips to cope with loss

You may find yourself suddenly unemployed, or presented with a scary diagnosis by your doctor, or staring at a financial mess. During times of loss, a lot of old, unresolved issues mingle with the new and turn into hard, little stones around the heart.

It’s all right to cry a little. Tears take away tension from the nervous system. They release endorphins or natural pain relievers. They also soften those hard, little stones around the heart.

A loss can show us that we have overwhelming feelings which we can never fully comprehended. It also makes us withdraw from shallow preoccupations and focus on the deeper meaning and the purpose of life.

When one of our friends, Tanya, lost her mother a few years ago, she  quit smoking. Her friends were apprehensive about this sudden and drastic change. Today, Tanya is a happy, healthy person with a new surge of will power. The wise thing to do, when dealing with loss, is to channel your energy into newer journeys.

When Mattie Stepanek, the gifted poet and author of Journey Through Heartsongs was struck with a terminal illness that had killed his siblings, he asked, “Why me?” But that was immediately followed by another question, “Why not me?” This question purifies the mind by neutralising anger and sadness.

Go the ‘write’ way

Through writing, Mattie transformed his pain into poetry. A humble start can put you firmly on the road to a new life. Writing allows you to confront your buried feelings and deep fears. Two wonderful things can happen when you write: Troubles and fears are distanced from the mind. This distance shrinks them to their true size.  You can now deal with them with a thoughtful intelligence and sensitivity. This helps in finding relief and even closure. As diarist Nigel Nicholson says, “It’s like using a loofah. It may hurt a bit, but makes you feel great as a result.”  Get a notebook and pen.  Write down what you’ve lost. Dig deeper — what have you really lost? For instance, you may discover that you’re more concerned about the loss of status than the loss of job. Ask yours- elf if is it wise to think in this way. Seek wisdom from great minds. Open any spiritual book.
Tao Te Ching said, “Putting a value on status will create contentiousness.”
Explore your thoughts with relevance to Tao’s wisdom.  Feel the healing process begin inside you.

“If you overvalue possessions, people begin to steal,” said Tao, gently advocating a simple lifestyle, where less is indeed more.

 The sage governs by emptying minds and hearts, by weakening ambitions and strengthening bones. Let your atma govern your mind and heart. This way, you let go of anger, resentment, old belief patterns and gradually re-arrange your values. Tone down debilitating desires that stoke greed and jealousy, and tone up your body and mind. Listen to your atma — it holds no anger or fear, but only  love.

 Let fresh ideas blossom. Let all negativity and pain seep out of you onto the pages of your book. Allow new ideas to spring forth like fresh flowers. Get into a new exercise routine, meditate, or chant.

Remember, LOSS stands for Lack of Sickness and Sorrow. Then, as Tao said, “Everything settles into its own perfect place.”

The writers are authors of the book Fitness for Life and teachers of the ‘Fitness for Life’ programme. 

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