A Brief Meditation On Loss

In time everything we’ve ever loved (including ourselves) will disappear from this strange phenomenon we call life, but if it’s inevitable then why do we tend to mourn loss more than we celebrate existence? Probably thanks to a paradigm called loss aversion. Psychologists suggest that we have a natural tendency to enjoy avoiding losses more than acquiring equivalent gains. This is why our psychological experience of loss so overpowering.

Loss Aversion: Pain of Loss > Joy of Gain

But perhaps becoming better acquainted with this natural tendency can help us counteract it. By constantly acknowledging that all is temporary, or made to be lost, perhaps we can increase our detachment, appreciation & consequential happiness. After all, to wish our transient feelings of joy would last forever is somewhat greedy.

I’ve been pondering this question:

How is losing different than letting go?

Here are my answers (feel free to add yours in the comments):

  1. Loss & letting go have the same physical end result, so perhaps our emotional attachment is all that stands in the way of our happiness.
  2. We involuntarily participate in loss, but voluntarily let go, so perhaps the difference is just a matter of accepting reality.
  3. Grief from loss is a by-product of previous joy, so perhaps it is a reminder to never take anything for granted.
  4. We cannot control the universe, only our reaction to it, so perhaps we should practice getting better at reacting to misfortune.
  5. Infinite ownership is futile, so grieving over the inevitable is absurd.

In conclusion… Rosebud”.


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