I’ve lost many things in my life. Jobs. Grandparents. Pets. Money. A house. A business. Even my identity at one point.
I’ve watched my parents lose their parents, my husband lose his father, my daughter lose teenage friends.
I’ve seen that in the moment these losses feel insurmountable.
Yet, I’ve also seen time heal the pain. I’ve seen people move on and find happiness again. And, I’ve done so myself.
While it used to take me a long time to let go and move on, these days that process happens faster. Perhaps because I’ve learned that life is about constant change. Like nature, everything has a season, a lifespan, and fighting it is futile.
Accepting this is a simple concept, but it’s not always easy.
Sure, it’s easy to let go of the small stuff. But the people or things we’re emotionally attached to, those are downright hard to let go of. We find it hard to imagine our lives without them. Often, we don’t want to.
Years ago I studied The Sedona Method, a process that involves embracing feelings instead of trying to push them down. If you’re feeling angry or sad, this method encourages you to step fully into the emotion instead of trying to avoid it, which is what we often do because let’s face it, those feelings don’t feel good.
Ironically, welcoming the emotion actually diffuses it. There’s something about not fighting the feeling that takes the teeth out of it and enables you to move through it faster, so you can release it and get to the other side.
I’ve done a lot of research on the subject of happiness and I’ve discovered that our brains are designed to be resilient—to bounce back and find happiness regardless of our circumstances.
There’s a concept known as The Adaptation Principle, which indicates that we tend to adapt to whatever happens. Research even shows that after one year, those who have become paralyzed and those who have won the lottery experience the same level of happiness. Hard to believe, but true.
Loss doesn’t have to ruin our lives, and in most cases it doesn’t. We just have a hard time seeing that in the moment.
Years ago I was given a valuable piece of advice: if something doesn’t turn out the way you want, it just means there’s something better in store for you. I tell my 22-year-old daughter this often when she’s disappointed by life’s circumstances.
And you know what, as time passes that advice always comes true. Even in what often feel like “end of the world” situations, eventually the rainbow appears. Sometimes it takes days, other times months, but it always shows up. The key is recognizing this in the midst of the pain, and knowing that indeed this too shall pass. And not only will it pass, but it may actually lead you to a better place.
After spending 25 years in the marketing industry, Debbie LaChusa became so frustrated with its "be more, do more, have more" mentality that she began speaking out about it. She wrote a book entitled "Breaking the Spell: The Truth about Money, Success, and the Pursuit of Happiness" and created the Money Success Happiness blog all in an effort to help others learn how to stop chasing money, success, and happiness and instead discover the true path to a happy, healthy, wealthy life. To read the first chapter of "Breaking the Spell" for free, visit www.breakingthespellbook.com