Loss. Loss is a thing to be experienced by all, some earlier than others. On my way back from the funeral of a dear friend the other day, I tried to count all of the funerals that I have been to. I quickly realized that it was an impossible task. I have been to too many to number.
Loss is a large part of my life. Many people I know and love have died over the years. However, I have lost even more friends to negative circumstances. From the time when I was young until know, I have experienced immense betrayal. I can count off the top of my head six close friends who turned sour and at least three role models who became an example of what I shouldn’t be. However, I still choose to love. I still choose to reach out daily to those around me and embrace them with the love of Christ.
I find it funny how everyone thinks I am the girl who has it easy. However, just like everyone else, I have my demons. What I find most humorous is those teenagers around me who say, quote, “I hate people. I hate everyone.” Their notion of hate is most often derived from some form of “loss” or “betrayal” that they have faced. However, I find it exceedingly sad that they base their life’s philosophy on a few negative experiences or aspects of mankind.
Far too often I see people shunning friendships or refusing to enter romantic relationships because they are afraid of getting hurt. If there is one thing that I have learned over the years, it is that pain is nothing to be feared. Pain is to be welcomed. I am not saying that pain should be sought after, the mere connotations behind that notion being morbid. However, I am implying that pain causes growth, and growth makes an individual into a better person. While I learned this concept from experiencing immense physical pain, I am now learning how much more it relates to emotional pain as well. Pain, loss, and sorrow are all aspects of life that will either make a person or break a person. How pain affects us is determined by how we choose to handle it. You can either become bitter, or you can ask God to help you to forgive, to learn, and to move on.
Throughout life, a person forms and experiences many different relationships. For many, most of those experiences are positive. For some, however, many of those experiences are negative. The negative relationships are often what we choose to focus on. It’s all about how you look at it. Victimization has become common because in America’s individualistic society, everyone has become too focused on their feelings and emotions as the sole truth instead of a part of a whole working structure.
I don’t care what people may tell you. Love is a choice. Love isn’t based on feelings or emotions because those entities are far too variable and fragile. True love is a conscious commitment, not a sustained feeling. This is why true love is so strong, because it endures upon solid notions instead of fragile feelings.
However, what does all of this have to do with death? Death and the loss of a relationship hurts so much because while a person continues loving, the other person is unable to receive and acknowledge that love. Loss hurts because the act of true love is so strong.
People who have never experienced a tragic loss in their life may think that a person can simply “get over it” with time. However, that is not the case. In fact, a person’s sorrow often intensifies with time. In the loss of a good friend or family member, there is an emptiness and void which cannot be filled. Yes, God’s peace will help a person to cope with loss, but a person is never really able to fill that empty place in his or her life until they are once again reunited with their loved one.
So, the moral in all of this? Love. Continue to love no matter what. Continue to love no matter how many people have hurt you. Continue to love despite the number of people that you have lost. Continue to love with the love of Christ. You see, one cannot simply muster enough affection to love another endlessly, he or she must call upon the love of Christ. The strongest, purest, and truest love is that of Christ’s. That love is all you need.