All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. -Anatole France, novelist, essayist, Nobel laureate (1844-1924)
About a year ago, I fell in love with a kitten and took him home. George, the kitten, was significant to me emotionally and spiritually. Ten months later, he died from FIP, and did so as no less the soul I loved the minute I met him. During the process of his death, I found myself experiencing loss completely differently than ever before. I was in touch with an underlying peace and surrender that was new to me. While I was very sad when he died, I did not suffer from his loss. As I reflect, I find that most of my losses need to be reframed from what I have learned from George.
If we believe that what manifests in life is a reflection of our own vibration, then what we practice and how we show up will change over time. That means that some relationships will no longer be right for us. It means that some things we really enjoyed doing won’t be important any more. It means that we will engage in things we have had no idea about before. The truth of who we are will no longer be reflected in the constancy of our external world. The truth will be something we recognize as reflected in the change – and the loss – in our world.
When I have used the quotation about change before, I have focused on the melancholy, and seeing a cause and effect between melancholy and loss. But the loss can also be seen as a good thing, as perfect, and beautiful. The change is not a block to joy. Melancholy may be more a result of a belief than in a true direct experience. Melancholy is attached to a belief that something is not as it should be, or it is attached to trying to hold on to something that no longer exists. While George’s death resulted in feelings of sadness and tears, it was not emotional suffering. I had cleared enough beliefs about loss and death that I expereinced this loss very differently.
Now, I look at my life and I do not see the patterns, activities, relationships and experiences of a year ago, or two years ago. A year ago, my approach was to try to find some way to replace or replicate what was lost. From time to time I have felt panic over the Fear Of Missing Out. Am I too withdrawn? Have I closed my heart? Should I be traveling more? Should I be more open to having one lover? Is there something I should be that I am not? Have I tried hard enough? And so on.
The fact is, I am not who I was a year ago, and definitely not two years ago. When I re-read my blogs, it would appear I am not who I was in September or October. I can recall suffering in those times. But sometime in the last month or so, the egoic patterns related to suffering dropped away. I only have one situation right now that causes suffering, and that is the finalization of details on my divorce. The suffering is completely due to me being in opposition to what is. I would love for him to be out of my life completely but that will not be the case with our child. So putting energy into trying to find ways to make him disappear from my experience is in fact the cause of my suffering. What if I approach him as who I am today? What if I embrace this reality and live from what I value? What if the lack of vibrational harmony between us is simply irrelevant?
It may not be obvious to you unless that shift is something you are doing as well, but that set of questions blows open my suffering completely. Any anger dissolves into crumpled paper. The whole thing goes poof! And in that shift, I have actually lost a segment of my Identity – at least my egoic identity.
I have to say – that particular loss is a very good thing.