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Let Go of the False Self and Free Yourself From the Fear of Loss

Key Lesson: Learning to let the whole world pass us by is the only way to discover that the fear of losing some imagined power, possession, or position in life is the same as dying to an equally imagined lower level of self that "lives" to cling to it.

Why You Don't Have to Own Those Feelings of Loss

Seldom do we know a greater need for making a fresh start than in those mind-numbing moments when we find ourselves feeling thrown for a loss.

These feelings of loss often leave an unconscious, invisible residue of fear which tends to taint every area of our lives with distasteful timidity, born of the neurotic suspicion that in some way, life is conspiring to take something away from us.

But real life, of which we are a part, is not about to try to diminish itself. Life is about development, enrichment, and fulfillment that begins with our spirit. If there is the pain of a loss, that moment has to be a part of life, and a part of its growth. Looking upon the loss of anything as though it means the end of it, is the same as believing falling autumn leaves mark the end of the trees.

Clearly, we must learn to see our own lives in a whole new light. We need a higher understanding of how to look at the pain of loss, one that won't leave us its captive, but that will show us the secret of cooperating with life, and transforming our seeming losses into the higher lessons they're intended to be.

Key to developing a completely new way to look at the nature of loss is the understanding that it is impossible to lose something we have never owned. We don't own what we call our relationships, our appearance, our authority, our intelligence, even our very own life. What we actually lose is an image, a carefully constructed mental picture of ourselves long-secured in place by someone or something that helps us to see ourselves - or feel about ourselves - the way we imagine ourselves to be. And with that person, position, or possession no longer in place to sustain that image, our pain is in the loss of that imaginary self.

There may be a change in our life, but this change is not the pain of loss. We can't own something that's in constant change, and all of life is exactly that: ceaseless, eternal change. But we are compelled to seek what we call security, so we create mental images we can hold in place... images that don't change. At some point, real events won't allow these false images to remain intact. Then we can no longer deny reality its course. Something has to give. Mental pictures - no matter how well conceived - are always the first to break up in any shakeup. It's the collapse of these images that we call loss.

Who you really are can't lose anything because your true nature is one with the whole timeless goodness of life. And it's impossible to lose yourself! When you know you can't really lose anything, if you understand there is no real division between you and love itself, then the heartache of loss simply ceases to exist for you.

From this moment forward, each time you feel a loss of some kind, meet it in this bold new way... your higher actions will transform that loss into the seed of self-liberation: After each setback, regardless of its nature, leave that aching, empty space within you empty and aching. Your new aim is not to fill it with one recognizable thing: no plans, no anger, no fears, no regrets, hopes or dreams. Let no mental or emotional pictures of any kind rush in to bridge that gaping hole in your heart. This doesn't mean you try to push the pain away. Denial is just another way in which we secretly try to fill the aching space. Instead, remain quietly aware of the pain and of that part of you that would make the ache go away by creating some new image to cling to in the storm. Having nothing to do with either these mental creations, nor with their creator. Both originate from the low level that's the source of your sadness. If you allow this divided nature to fill the space, you'll only have to fill it again and again.

You can live from a new self that doesn't have to go searching for security because its lofty nature is already whole. Each conscious refusal, to answer the ache of any loss with your own security-restoring solutions, invites reality to flood in and fill that space... and reality is never thrown for a loss.

This very special approach to meeting each loss, and its grief, helps place you above your own habitual painful responses... which is a lot better than carrying them around. The reason you can take this brave new inner action is because now you know: Your sense of loss - that terrible empty experience - is only present within you because you've forgotten who you really are. But all fearful feelings fade in the light of true self-understanding. And as you grow in the awareness of your own timeless nature, a new strength makes itself known to you, within you. Calm and confidence come into your heart. Insight increases. You see your life has never been about winning and losing. Now you understand. Everything, everyone, each event is cause for the exploration, discovery, and celebration of your essential self. And this realization both teaches and cheers you. For your new knowing reveals that each of your seeming losses is really a secret invitation, a call for you to go higher and higher -- a summons from Truth to enter into its fully liberated life and live forever without the fear of loss.

This article is excerpted from Freedom From the Ties That Bind (pages 171-184).

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