Loss is like a bucket full of water bleeding out after a plug is ripped from its bottom. The bucket is going to be empty eventually but not before it feels every agonizing drop slowly drift out powerless to stop any of it. At the end however, it will feel lighter, it will get a new plug and it will fill back up again.
People are like these leaking buckets when it comes to loss as it feels exactly the same for everyone. The only difference is how big the bucket is and how much water that plug was holding back.
The prompt today was to write about something that we have lost and stretch it out over a three part “series” of posts. Since loss feels the same across the board, the way I have felt losing someone or something, is going to be the same as you and the next post you read. Dealing with loss is a simple formula: pain -> sadness -> discovery -> healing.
Let’s move on and talk about a certain type of loss, where it comes from and how we can learn to avoid it. Cool?
I want to discuss the loss that is felt on account of ones inability to appreciate the present.
You know this one. Al Pacino’s speech from Any Given Sunday sums this up pretty well.
“…You know, when you get old, in life, things get taken from you. I mean, that’s… that’s… that’s a part of life. But, you only learn that when you start losin’ stuff…”
Regret is probably the most ubiquitous form of loss. You hear gurus and “#yolo#swag” hipsters preaching it all the time, “Live with no regrets (man? Oh, let me comb my beard first).”
Anyone who tells you they live with no regrets is simply a coward unable to own up to their own mistakes and I don’t have much tolerance for those toting self perceived invincibility as bravery.
Tomorrow we’ll discuss the different mechanisms that generate regret. I’ll also touch on what forms regret manifests itself in our minds before transforming to aching chest muscles and watery eyes.
Danny Machal April 9th, 2015