Loss and Liberation

Like countless other people in these difficult economic times, my living arrangements are far simpler and humbler than they were a short time ago. While I certainly miss certain amenities, I’ve rediscovered that there is freedom in living more simply. Even when my financial situation improves, I will be exceedingly careful about adding complexity back into my life.

You have learned something. That always feels at first as if you had lost something.
George Bernard Shaw

Right after I decided to write this post, I came across this Simon Cowell interview on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories, In this one-minute excerpt, Simon recalls his free fall from hit record producer to flat broke, wondering if he even had enough money to pay for the cab ride back to his parents’ house. I was surprised to hear Simon say that losing everything was liberating—not because of that realization but because it was Simon who was realizing it!

Simon’s revelation brought to mind the story I read of a woman who was devastated when a fire destroyed all of her most cherished possessions, only to find that she relished the freedom of her new life. It’s quite the paradox: The last thing we want to do is lose the comforts of life and things that we cherish, yet starting over with a clean slate and nothing but possibilities can be incredibly liberating.

Embedded in every loss is the lesson that the only obstacle between you and peace is the belief that there is an obstacle between you and peace.

It’s a good thing to have all the props pulled out from under us occasionally. It gives us some sense of what is rock under our feet, and what is sand.
Madeleine L’Engle






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8 Responses to “Loss and Liberation”

  1. mel Says:

    Material things lost can be replaced. But a loved one is irreplaceable. Although lost loved ones cannot be here with us physically, in our heats and minds they will always be there.

    Sometimes we need to fall or lose our material possessions for us to be able to realize that there are more important things in this wourld that we haven’t lost.

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Yes, and the sooner we learn that the better, mel. Some people learn it early on but some people don’t realize it until much later in life, if ever.

  3. Global Patriot Says:

    Many thanks for this story Phil, it’s a great reminder to focus on – and appreciate – those aspects of life which are truly meaningful. Over the past year I’ve moved further away from materialism and spent more time with my twelve year old son – the shift has been a blessing in so many ways.

  4. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Love to hear that, Global Patriot! Spending more time with your son ensures a life of no regrets!

  5. Rachel Says:

    Nothing’s made me a better person than hitting rock bottom.

    This poem sums it up:
    http://mindfulheart.blogspot.com/2009/05/kindness-poem.html

  6. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Yep, that’s how it works, Rachel. And guess what? I posted Naomi’s poem last year!

    https://bolstablog.wordpress.com/2009/05/02/naomi/

  7. vic Says:

    we just came back from two weeks holiday, we took a suitcase of clothes and lived in a one room hotel . I am always amazed how much we can do without, material wise. I wish I can go back to living life without all the stuff surrounding me, I guess living in North America where there is over-abundance limits us in some way, it keeps us tied to our homes and stuff…….

  8. Phil Bolsta Says:

    True, Vic. But if you want to go back to living simply, you can do that. We all make choices. It’s just that that is an awfully difficult choice to make!

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