Something Lost, Something Gained

I’ve lost all sorts of things over the years, from coats, to jewelry, to money, to photographs.

Once on my 23rd birthday, I stepped out of the car and instinctively reached for my favorite necklace around my neck — a silver spiral pendant — and it was gone! A small pang of fear trembled through me, like a butterfly moving in slow-motion, and for a split-second, I stood frozen with two feet in thick mud, resisting what was.

It wasn’t but a matter of minutes until I sighed, shrugged my shoulders, and stepped over the wet gutter toward the cafe entrance. With an exhale, I felt the butterfly drift out behind me, and I let it go.

After all, it was just a physical object, right? Hadn’t the feelings of comfort from it already been had? Was it possible that I could simply remember the necklace my best friend gifted me and feel the same swell of appreciation grow inside, even without the actual touch of its cool metal against my chest?

Yes, an intuitive voice whispered.

Still, some days, I think we simply can’t help but become attached to things – pretty things, ugly things, mysterious things, shiny things. We’re like glue, snatching up dust from mid-air, mistaking objects for comfort, until we grow thick layers of gray fuzz, becoming numb behind an armor of our possessions.

But what of those days when we are able to remain minimalist in our attachments, only holding on to what truly matters and letting go of the rest?

I’ve noticed that when sentimental things get misplaced or vanish, there’s something primal, and even healing, in letting the emptiness linger. It’s then, when I can reach down and touch the bottom of my bowl, that I realize how truly vast and deep it is, and how great my capacity for loving is. That’s when I rediscover what I really hold dear.

Perhaps, in the absence of stuff, we gain the space for more of what we truly desire, such as love and connection and meaningful experiences.

And so I pose this question to you: What have you lost recently? And what, in its place, have you gained?

Photo by Marek Petraszek

Photo by Marek Petraszek

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