Years ago, while I was doing some spiritual work around a matter of grief, I was given this piece of wisdom by a guide: Nothing is ever lost, he said. What you think you have lost is right there in your hand.
In this temporal world, where everything is in a state of flux, the notion that nothing is ever lost can be difficult to swallow, especially if you feel stripped of something or someone you cherish.
Clients come to my office day after day in grief over what they have lost: a woman puts her heart and soul into a project only to have its authorship stolen and claimed by a colleague; another client loses a loved one to suicide. The following day, it is a woman whose ex-husband has alienated her from her children’s affection through the lies he tells them about her.
In one way or another, every client session is about loss. In life, we lose things all the time. So, what does this mean exactly: nothing is ever lost?
Having listened time and again to the insight of my guides as I pass their wisdom along to others, I understand it this way: what we create, and this means everything, from our thoughts to our art to our work to the love we bestow and share with others, is ours, and no experience or illusion can alter that or part us from it. Loss is an illusion that we endure and navigate through in order to learn things about each other, about life, and about ourselves. But loss is not real.
It’s as if what we created every single day had a signature energy that marks it and shapes it exactly as we thought it, lived it, and intended it to be. Think of that as your truth. How others receive our contributions, distort them, reject them, or even unrightfully claim them, is irrelevant. What’s ours is ours, and it cannot truly be taken, misused, altered or diminished by others. It bears the indelible mark of our soul upon it, like a thumbprint that says: this is mine! This is true!
The word contribution is important here, because that is what our experiences, our thoughts, actions, emotions and creations are—they are contributions to the annals of human history—the Akashic record, if you like—and they are irrevocably and unmistakably ours and ours alone.
If we thought of each struggle, each work of art or creative project, each labor of love or relationship as our unique contribution to not only the record of all human endeavor but to our own soul’s remarkable story, wouldn’t we want it to be the best contribution we could make? Wouldn’t we want it to be marked with as much courage and generosity, compassion and inspiration as we could muster?
We have a choice: we can stay in the loss and call that real. Or we can milk every ounce of wisdom the experience has to offer us, bestow the grace of virtue on it, bring it to a close and give it to the world. Wrap it up in its own little gift box and walk away.
The client who had her project’s authorship stolen by her colleague was told that the project still belonged to her and if it were to be empowered and thrive in the world it required her blessing. It was waiting for her blessing. She was given this exercise: Craft a white and gold origami bird. As you create it, recall all of the inspiration and love and effort that went into your project. When you are finished, burn the origami bird, allowing its spirit to rise into the world and fly where it will. Bless your project to live on through the spirit you breathed into it.
Think of something you have lost. Reclaim whatever (energetic) part of it belongs to you–your version of the story, your creative contribution, the love and affection you gave to someone, etc. Construct some effigy or representative of what was lost–a fairy tale, a valentine, a bundle of mementos, a paper boat. Create a sacred space. Say your goodbyes to your contribution, and freely release it to the world by burning it, dropping it into a stream, or burying it. Then walk away, and observe how your grief dissipates.