We are all playing a losing hand, we are all in and sooner or later the house will win. The only thing will we get to decide is how we play the game, we get to choose whether we play with grace, ease and joy, or complain that the game is rigged and that everyone ends up bankrupt. Living means losing, our innocence, the protection of our parents, our greatest loves, friendships, intimacy and connection. Everything changes and every change involves losing something even when we gain a little more, moments are not kept, they are misremembered, reinterpreted as memories and added into the stories we tell ourselves which defines who we are now, or at least who we think we are. Which is the mind's quick method of deciding how to act in a situation, can you imagine having to decide who you are every time you make a decision, sometimes you just have to act as a person and the mind uses it model of who that person is. It is only when we reflect that we have the luxury to exam the who part of us and change that model, that is why it is more powerful to reflect before you act and defining who you are or want to be, what you wish to lose, instead of letting your losses happen to you.
When we decided how to use our time we make choices about who we are through our actions, we might swap the things we love doing for new experiences, we lose potential for achievement, simplicity for complexity and choices for decisions. We trade, barter and sacrifice for better positions, we swap our time for resources, we decide to forego immediate satisfaction for long-term benefits but each time we do so we make a choice about where we want our lives to lead, we lose all the places we could have gone when we choose one destination. We turn uncertain outcomes into absolute knowledge, when we open Schrodinger's cat box, we find out whether the cat is dead or alive, we trade both possibilities for one certainty. When we decide to build long-term assets we give up the short-term pleasures of unlimited consumption, we choose and plan for a long life instead of being a shooting star that lights up the night.
There are so many choices and each one involves losing the possibility of the others, adventure cannot be had without risk but it is risky never to have an adventure, to have a life without stories, a life lead without danger and loss. That is not a story that any of us would want to hear, it does not have a beginning, middle and end, it simply repeats the same day again, a life without love, meaning or purpose, except as a warning to others not just to wait out your life.
Loss can feel like something you wish to avoid all costs, it can throw you into depression, where your own thoughts can become your prison warden, a water drip torture of incessant cruelty. And yet we choose to embrace those things that we will with certainty lose, when you give your love and are open to it, you also open yourself up to losing them but by embracing the seeds of your own destruction, you take the power away from that fear of loss. By accepting loss we take away the surprise of loss and our fear of it.
You do not defeat fear by pretending it is not there, fear is happiest in the shadows, it grows and breeds where the light of your consciousness does not illuminate its existence. It hides in the places where you do not dare to look and anchors itself to your mind when it is not thought about. “I know you” is the mantra that allows you to make friends with your fears and observe it, it is what transforms fear into bravery, that frees you from acting from a place of fear because when you know where fear is, you can move yourself to a place of love. When you see both options, you get to choose between them, when you recognise fear and your avoidance of loss, you are able to act not just as if it does not exist but because it does exist.
The fear of loss is the most real thing in the world, but like a black hole, you can carelessly wander into it, get sucked in and trapped in timeless uniformity, or instead you can be aware of it and use its power to slingshot you to a faster and higher orbit. That awareness allows you to pursue love without the unreasonable expectations of it, that is impossible for real love to live up to, real love comes with costs, you give up a perfect partner for a perfectly imperfect partner, blissful stability for adventures in discomfort and expectations for unexpected depth. You have to be prepared to lose freedom for security, and security for freedom, you have to live with contradiction and duality, to love freely means you have to be free to love, to receive love freely you have to give love freely without any expectations of it being returned. To love blindly is to give love with full awareness, and awareness means giving up our illusions, to see clearly means not seeing what is not there, the comforts of our delusions.
And we deliberately delude ourselves at every opportunity, to live with knowledge is to give up our hopes. We might wish that the world is a certain way, that we are part of the story where we are the heroes, but if it turns out that the world requires heroes that make the hard choices, to still be a hero means that you actually have to do the hard work, make the hard sacrifices and decisions. It might even mean that you have to look like the villain, it can be easy to be the nice person whilst it is difficult to decide to be the person who gets what they want, who says no to good opportunities because they want some better, to be greedy enough to want the fairy tale ending, to set boundaries that make you happy and give others security and knowledge that you are able to defend your boundaries is that makes them more confident that you will defend their boundaries.
It can be hard to decide what you wish to lose, but is more tragic to decide never to lose anything. Loss is the salt that makes life delicious, that compels us to suck every morsel of pleasure out of the moment that we are living, that makes you glad and joyful to be alive now. The best moment of your life is always the one that you are currently experiencing, the best life situation is the one that you have now because that is the moment that you can affect, that you can give the whole of your energy and resources to, what you do now is the most important thing you can do and it is only loss, not the fear of loss that the knowledge of loss, that is your gateway and reminder to the eternal truths that now matters, and it is the only thing that truly matters. How you act in the moment defines the person you are choosing to be in this moment, by remembering this it helps us to be able to act with right action and that you will lose that chance if you let this moment pass without doing so. It is always how we act now that matters and to lose that opportunity is the greatest loss, so choose what you lose carefully or life will choose what you lose instead.