As humans born into a social world of triumphs and tragedies, love and loss, we will face a myriad of challenges in life – nothing is seems is more difficult than the loss of a love one.

Joseph Campbell once said, “We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us”. This statement rings wisdom on many levels. We as humans like to be in control of our destinies. Being that suffering is intrinsic to life; the habit of trying to control our surroundings can in itself cause suffering. Americans especially have this need or urge to be in control. Here in the west, there is a need for immediate gratification and convenience as well the need to manipulate and manage our surrounding environment. You see it with the pressure to be financially successful and even with the United States government and its sometimes misguided foreign entanglements. Of course not all aspects of control are considered a bad thing, but it does cause problems when life rears unpredictable results like loss. We also attach ourselves to such adornments of love, companionship and communion. Losing something or someone dear to us is exacerbated by attachment and loss of control. Love and friendship connects us in ways that create immense grief when this love and friendship is taken away. We can’t be at fault for loving someone or something – it is human nature. Still, there is a need to let go of the attachments that cause us suffering. Grief is one of those attachments. Being that loss is inherent to life, it is also something we can’t control. When we can’t control something as intricate and amazing as the life of a love one; there can be this feeling of helplessness that envelopes us. Much like earlier blogs in regard to the concept of space as it relates to our mind and the universe, we need to make space for loss. We need to not cling to transient affections when all that is left is memories. Cherish the great memories but let go of the guilt, anger and grief. Letting go does not mean we do not care. Letting go simply means we stop trying to control outcomes that are completely unavoidable. It means to stop doing the impossible by trying to control destiny. Instead, we should focus on what we can control which is ourselves. This is done with love: Love for ourselves and how it relates to our True Nature and love for those here in the now and hereafter.

John C. Bader

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