October 8

Be not like they who sit by their
firesides and watch the fire go out,
then blow vainly upon the dead ashes.
Do not give up hope or yield to despair
because of that which is past, for to
bewail the irretrievable is the
worst of human frailties.

Khalil Gibran


Today's Meditation:

It's very easy to mourn that which we've lost, but the best strategy to avoid this problem is not to lose it in the first place, or to make sure that we set other plans in motion to compensate for that which we're losing.  We can get up and stoke the fire and add more fuel before it goes out.  We can be fully aware of the way things are playing out and do our best to compensate for them.  If the fire's going out and we're running out of wood, then it's time to get more wood instead of continuing to sit by the fire, isn't it? 

We will lose things--relationships, jobs, money, material goods, peace of mind, prized possessions.  And that's okay.  It's not always pleasant, but that's simply how life works.  It's very important to keep in mind that virtually nothing is forever, not even the mountains that seem like they'll never change.  If we know that things will pass, then we can deal with the loss much easier when they do.  My wife and I have lost some very significant things in the last couple of years due to unavoidable financial issues, and while we miss the house we had bought and the other things, we've simply moved on because there was absolutely nothing we could have done about the situation.

What has happened hasn't been our fault, so we've spent no time blaming ourselves.  We've found other places to live, and we've found other things to replace those things that are gone.  All that really could have been affected by the losses has been our attitudes, and we weren't about to lose time crying over spilt milk; we simply wiped it up and poured ourselves a new glass.  As soon as we've turned our attention to doing what we needed to do to move on, we simply never had time to bewail our loss--nor did we have the inclination to do so, because we were busy and our minds were busy being productive with our new plans.

That which is past is past, and that which is irretrievable cannot be retrieved.  The way we deal with such things is completely up to us.  And to spend our time focused on the things that we cannot get back is simply a waste of the little time that we have to live our lives--and it's time much better spent devising strategies for recovery and for moving on, and actually working towards those goals.

Questions to consider:

What purpose can we possibly serve by staying focused on things that we can never get back?

How might we help ourselves to stay focused on shifting our attention from that which we've lost to planning for improvement and change? 

What happens to us when we give up hope because of something that we've lost instead of keeping our minds on what we still have? 

For further thought:

The worst thing in your life may contain seeds of the best.
When you can see crisis as an opportunity,
your life becomes not easier, but more satisfying.

Joe Kogel

More on adversity.


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