"Tell me about the losses in your life," he said. I considered for a moment and then I began to check off my list of losses. My grandparents, my extended family, my chance of a happy childhood, my marriage, my dream of a family with a man I loved and who loved me, my partner, a chance to have another child. The list seemed very long.
We all have losses in our lives. When asked the question I immediately focussed on large losses but every day smaller losses occur. Moment to moment our life moves on and we lose the person we used to be. Once a day, an hour, a second has gone by we can never have back. There is no need to feel sad about this because nothing is lost without something being gained. The loss of my partner has given me the opportunity to discover myself; to stand alone no longer defined through someone else's eyes. To gain self-confidence and assurance in my ability to take care of myself. To know that my life is good just as it is. Accepting this means not running away from how things are and not seeking to change anything. Acceptance occurs in the moment as what we accept changes also. As I reflect on my gains and losses I see that there is really nothing to chose between them. One is not preferable to the other; they are the same.
"What is the worst thing about you?" he asked. My immediate reaction was to name something that in the past I would have thought of as negative. As I come to know myself better I realise that aspects of me I would once have labelled good or bad are the same. I see my kind heart, insecurity, generosity, critical thoughts, compassion, anger, vulnerability and my shame and know that they are all equally unimportant; they just are. I am tempted to reply that my kind heart is the worst thing about me because it sometimes leads me to delusion as I fail to see clearly.
Going through my day I remind myself to live in the moment as much as I can. "How would you feel if you died right now?" I ask myself. Sitting here eating a sweet orange, the sun shining through the window, my daughter's voice from the next room as she plays, I know this would be a perfect moment to die. Standing in a long line at the supermarket, snow falling outside, tired after a long day at work, my daughter whining for some chocolate, the moment is no less perfect.
from Now And Zen - August 2000