A Meditation on loss inspired by John O’Donahue
These short reflections on loss come directly from a book called Eternal Echoes by John O’Donahue Eternal Echoes by John O’Donahue
It is a beautiful book. John is a poetic and profound writer. These words come form a small section on loss towards the end of the book.
Loss is always affecting us.
Like the tide that returns eternally to rinse away another wafer of stone from the shoreline, there is a current of loss that flows through your life.
You know the sore edges in your heart where loss has taken from you.
You stand now on the stepping stone of the present moment. In a minute it will be gone never to return.
Absence is the longing for something that is gone. Loss is the hole that it leaves.
Each of us in our own way will be called at different times to make the sore acquaintance of loss. From this angle, life is a growth in the art of loss.
Loss always has much to teach us; its voice whispers that the shelter just lost was too small for our new souls.
The beauty of loss is the room it makes for something new. If everything that came to us were to stay, we would be dead in a day from mental obesity. The constant flow of loss allows us to experience and enjoy new things. It makes vital clearance in the soul.
There are some areas of loss in your life which you may never get over. There are some things you lose and, after the pain settles, you begin to see that they were never yours in the first place.
It is startling that you cannot really hold onto anything.
We settle and come to stillness by being present to breath and taking some deeper breaths.
In the exhale sink down, relax, be held and supported by the chair.
Leave the noise of your head and bring attention to a deeper, core part of yourself when all is still and God meets you.
From this quietness we turn to our losses … I’m going to bring some questions. After each question there will be room for silence.
In the silence allow what comes to come, be present to what you feel, sense and experience. It may help to name what surfaces but try not to interact further with what comes.
Allow it space to simply be without judging it or having an opinion towards it.
Give space for your body to respond – if tears come they are welcome.
Are you aware of a current loss that is affecting you?
Are you aware of the sore edges of you heart where you have known loss?
Do you long for something that was? Do you feel its absence?
Do you sense how God, The Divine, Spirit, Jesus, wants to meet you here in this place of loss?
Do you notice where loss is making room for something new? What may this new be?
To finish, I will read though John O Donahue’s words once again.