I’ve Lost So Much

 

Over the course of my life’s half-century, I have lost many things. Some were dropped unnoticed, others were wrenched away from me, and some I laid aside gently, like one might bury a dear friend.  And each time I thought I might lose my heart, or my identity, or even my will, but I never did—not totally. I would be changed, but not so much that there was a loss of self-recognition. And sometimes, after I put something aside, I discovered that who I had been was the lie—not who I became.

In my blog about “Letting Go,” I wrote about how quitting smoking became easier once I discovered how the habit had been incorporated as a part of my identity. It wasn’t until I quit that, unclouded by addiction, I clearly saw how false the habit was to the core of myself and who I wanted to be. As I became more connected with my new choice of livelihood, Personal Training, other things that ended the sentence, “I am a person who likes…” disappeared and different ones took their place. I continued losing things because they didn’t tell my story any more, and I set them aside.

The deepest heartaches followed having to part with friends who no longer belonged in my life. Friends are especially difficult since a true friend enjoys an intimacy that goes deep, deeper than a lover at times. Some friends grew up with me and remained loyal throughout every stage of life. We shared youthful memories of favorite teachers, first kisses, and riding bikes on long summer days lit with freedom. Unfortunately, or fortunately, everyone changes, molded by time, circumstance, and will. The time to sever ties with a friend always came late—dawning on me in surprise, but there it was, chronicled in arguments, silences, and hurt.

Falling out of love has caused me to set aside the old, but falling in love with my wife was also one of those times. The person I referred to whenever I said, “me,” underwent a transformation, a metamorphosis, as I swam deeper into the enveloping waters of Love. I am reminded of the biblical passage, “two will become one flesh,” when I recall the experience. And in the beginning, love is supremely concerned with the flesh. Oh, the savory, subtle, stormy, sweetness of love’s physical expression filled time and my memory to the brim. With this came a breaking open, a willing loss of control, a sharing of my animalness, my reason, and my spirituality. As with any metamorphosis, there is a molting; in order to be born anew, the old must be shed.

Fear made a showing then. Remember when “I swam deeper in the enveloping waters of love?” There was a shocking moment when I realized that an easy return to the surface was impossible. That meant drowning and death. And the truth is that Love is similar to death, in that—part, or even most, of you must wholly surrender before love can truly blossom. The seed you were must die before it can realize its new purpose, and as I fell in love, my heart held back in fear, but eventually it had to break open. There is a death, a burying in love, but there is also a resurrection, and oh, what a rising.

I have lost many things in my life; some of them I regret—others I should have let go sooner. Even though losing things will continue, I am more comfortable with the process now. So many things have come and gone, and I have always come through. It’s not as scary now. My identity is a kaleidoscope of people, places, ideas, activities and things and each image is lovely, even as it morphs into the next.

8 thoughts on “I’ve Lost So Much”

  1. I’ve enjoyed reading you blog. Gives inspiration on the days I don’t want to move or self-examine. Also meeting you was wonderful, you are a very unique individual.

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Theresa. I’m so happy that these short essays provide you with some inspiration. I enjoyed meeting you as well. I hope we can spend a longer time together soon. It would be great to sit down and have some long, unhurried conversation.

  2. Beautifully written, Roy. I especially took to heart the 3rd paragraph where you talk about the deepest heartaches can sometimes be your dearest friends. Someone you thought you would never lose but slowly drifted away. It’s hard to let go.

    1. Hello, Teresa! Thanks for your kind words. Yes, letting go of friends is difficult and full of heartache. To me, there is a solace in that usually, not always, it was time to move apart. In order for them to continue their life’s journey, they needed to unhitch the mooring of friendship. The same for me as well. I sometimes needed to untie the bond, so I could continue in my life’s chosen direction. The memories remain, and in the end, that’s all any of us have anyway, right? Blessings to you and your family.

  3. What a great short essay Roy. It comes at an important time. Loss and death is never easy. Neither is change. Sometimes by letting go of some of our past it could be looked upon as failure. But your ending reaffirms that it’s not.
    You wrote: My identity is a kaleidoscope of people, places, ideas, activities and things and each image is lovely, even as it morphs into the next.
    Thanks for that.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Jim. I’m glad it connected with you in a way that is helpful. Letting go of the past is hard, it’s even harder now that there are so many ways to connect with people we knew, but what I’ve found is that when I re-connect with people from other places I’ve lived, they almost never directly communicate with me, nor I with them. It ends up being a relationship without any real interaction. So, I reconnect with people, but if a few months pass and they have never tried to communicate with me directly, I quietly slip away again and chalk it up to experience.

  4. Roy, your writing is beautiful! I was touched by this post as I sit here, feeling almost in a twilight zone as I believe I’m morphing into something I’ve dreamed of but I’m lost in the middle somewhere, not knowing where I begin or end, and not having any idea of how to “do” this life anymore. I see you’re willing to do the same thing. Thank you for sharing your experience. It’s beautiful.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Anne. Sometimes, life is an adventure that I don’t want to know the end of. Because I know the experience, positive or negative, will mother me into a more aware life. Cup your dream in your heart and mind like you would hold a koi. You can’t hold it too tightly–it needs to swim. Meditate on it without prejudice and perhaps a direction will emerge. I hope I see you at Blue Mounds this year. We always have a good time. Take care. Namaste.

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