This very sad man's life highlights the difficulty many of us have getting over our losses. Each time we make a choice in life we have the possibility of gains or losses. If we get stuck focussing on our losses we may miss the opportunity for gains. If we are stuck in the past we can't appreciate the present or plan well for the future.
It is very useful when facing a decision to think about losses and gains. If we choose a given option, what are our likely gains? What are our likely losses? Are the gains worth the losses? Are the potential losses outweighed by the potential gains?
Here are some things to ponder regarding your own approach to life's losses and gains.
Would you describe yourself as having been disappointed by life?Something to try this week:
What are your biggest disappointments?
How have these shaped your life?
Did anything good come from the loss?
How much time or energy do you lend to the project of remembering the unfortunate aspects of the past?
Does this help?
Does remembering your losses get in the way of enjoying the present?
Does it interfere with planning for or looking forward to your future?
Notice when you are having thoughts or feelings of regret.
Remember that feelings of regret come from thoughts that go with them.
When you become aware of a regret or a thought about some loss, see if you can think of some gain or opportunity that might have come along with the loss.
Remind yourself that what is past is unchangeable, except in how we remember it.
Remind yourself that life is lived in the present. Take a breath and bring your thoughts to the present moment. What is happening in the now? Give thanks for the gift of awareness of the present.
© 1997 Tom Barrett