Impact and Loss
ave you ever considered the lasting impact others
Hha ve in your life, both those you know and share
life with, as well as strangers and people you
encounter for brief moments? If we have even a
momentary connection with someone, there is
potential for loss, while the memory can last a lifetime.
Some losses are profound, like the sudden death of
a parent or the lingering breakup of a relationship.
Other losses come from unforeseen places, like the loss
of people you know for only a fleeting moment in time.
Personally, I can picture several seemingly insigni-
ficant encounters that left an impact on my heart: a
student who battled hard against me and then quit
school suddenly and silently; a man on the bus who
sleepily nodded off against my shoulder; another
stranger I knew for an hour before we shared a prayer,
never to see each other again. Each encounter touched
me deeply by its presence and I can feel the absence
along with the significant impact on my life.
Loss is indeed intense in our lives, especially when
we permit ourselves to acknowledge and experience it.
Feeling deeply leads to an emptying which then allows
us to be refilled with joy and other emotions of life. If
we refuse to empty ourselves, grief fills us to the brim
and we find ourselves immobilized and waiting to
overflow or explode. A balanced life cycle includes
both emptying and filling. It is a cycle repeated over
and over again.
There is something magnificent in accepting what
we are offered each day. Some days request
emptying—others offer filling. Not expecting grand
results, we are open to surprise and then can see where
we have been touched and filled after allowing
ourselves to be emptied of held-in emotions. Will you
allow yourself to be impacted today by first emptying
yourself? Can you recall the moments when you felt
the inflow of life?
• Close your eyes and consider what emotions you
hold that are ready to be let go.
• After naming the emotions, practice opening
yourself by filling in the blank:
o If I weren’t focusing on grief, there would be
room for __________.
o If I quit pretending to be happy, I might feel
• Observe how emptying makes room for filling.
• Allow yourself to move through the cycle of
emptying and filling, and witness it as a natural
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