Have you ever stopped to think about the fact we human beings are a big bunch of losers? From the day we’re born to the day we die, we’re always losing something. Oh, we fight it, some of us more than others. We have an innate desire for wholeness. Life itself is winning, I suppose, but loss is present, nonetheless.
We lose a puzzle piece and pitch the whole thing. Who wants to do all that work only to stare into a hole, a visual reminder of loss? We play games, and in our carelessness, we lose pieces, rendering the game useless. We play games and we lose, but we’re taught not to lose it emotionally, because, after all, it’s only a game. As we grow, our games grow with us. We lose races, team sports, competitions of skill; things we gave ourselves to with the hope of glory. Really, the prize was never ours, only a possibility, but our imaginations and hopes made us believe we possessed it already. Our defeat is that much harder to accept, because all our energy was focused on the opposite. Whether a puzzle piece or a dashed dream, when we lose something we had or even desired greatly, it hurts.
At some point, we lose our innocence, the sense that all is good and fair in the world. We lose the carefree way of a child as we move into adulthood with all its complexities and responsibilities. Most of us lose our virginity. It’s a loss we usually remember quite vividly.
We lose possessions like socks, mittens, keys, wallets, and phones; some we scurry around for, frantic to recover them. In many public places, lost things are jumbled together in a rumpled cardboard box, a “lost and found”, but this might be a misnomer, as these items usually remain lost. Sometimes we lose valuables like wedding rings, things imprinted with memories. We grieve such things as if the memories are lost with them.
We lose our lunch in spectacular, albeit disgusting, fashion. 😀
When we’re confused, we talk about being lost, the remedy being finding the answers we seek, but even when we think we have all the answers and we’ve planned, prepared, and practiced, we still may lose our nerve to act.
We lose our way, even with a map or GPS. I do frequently. We may stop and ask directions or travel in circles or sit and cry or decide to turn back. Those who’re relaxed and don’t take being lost too seriously, find themselves where they want to be eventually.
If someone follows us, such as a tailgater or an unwanted admirer, we become purposeful in our losing. We literally want such people to get lost. It’s true, in some situations we like to lose, because the outcome is rewarding. For instance, when we lose ourselves in a piece of music or abandon ourselves to a lover. Who of us hasn’t tried to lose weight, where the gratification comes only if one wins at losing?
We lose track of time, which can be pleasurable or painful. We think we can make up for lost time, when we’ve failed to meet a deadline, but truly, time is never lost, only used ineffectively.
In stressful moments or when tragedy strikes, we may lose control of ourselves. We worry and whine. We weep. We rage. We become physically violent. We engage in destructive behaviours.
We lose our jobs and livelihood, and the dominoes topple with a subsequent loss of status, reputation, confidence, and self-esteem.
As life progresses, we begin to lose our people with devastating effect. Miscarriages, still births, tragic accidents, abduction, divorce, disease, and natural disasters all exact payment, leaving holes in our homes and hearts. Some of us search for those we’ve lost in graveyards. Some of us never get over the loss. Some of us live more fully in spite of it.
As we age, we lose our incomes, our figures, our energy and our ability to function. Some people lose their minds and become dead to their loved ones before they’ve physically left the planet. The person they were ceases to exist or may return only in random snippets. Some, whose minds remain clear, lose control of their bodies, like being buried alive. There are those who lose all their capacities at once with a sudden heart attack or a blood vessel burst in their brains. Others waste away incrementally, a slow, excruciating burning down to darkness. Some of us can’t live with such anguish and we allow loss to take from us the last thing we possess, our will to live. Conversely, some believe that death is no loss at all, but a win, a transition to new life.
Loss can be fruitful, frustrating, painful, devastating, and often, irrevocable. However, it’s when we dwell on the loss, when we allow it to incapacitate us and turn us angry and bitter, that loss wins. When we’re grateful for that which we’ve lost, when we move forward in hope, having gleaned what we could, loss doesn’t get the best of us. Loss can make you stronger or put you in the ground sooner. It’s your choice. It’s your life. It’s your loss.
Pictures for this post were made by combining pics from Pixabay. Posts come out when I feel like it. 😀 Scroll down to the bottom of the page to follow me or sign up to receive my posts via email. Listen to my posts on Spotify. Follow me on Instagram. Take a peek at my Redbubble store: Pollyeloquent.redbubble.com. Thank you for giving me some of your precious time!
2 thoughts on “What have you got to Lose?”
Beautifully said Polly – thank you!
Thanks, Maria. Hugs! 🙂