The Art of Losing

One Art
The art of losing isn’t hard to master;
so many things seem filled with the intent
to be lost that their loss is no disaster.
Lose something every day. Accept the fluster
of lost door keys, the hour badly spent.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
Then practice losing farther, losing faster:
places, and names, and where it was you meant
to travel. None of these will bring disaster.
I lost my mother’s watch. And look! my last, or
next-to-last, of three loved houses went.
The art of losing isn’t hard to master.
I lost two cities, lovely ones. And, vaster,
some realms I owned, two rivers, a continent.
I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster.
—Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like disaster.

*

 I have been wanting to write this blog post for many months now, but it was hard to put into words, this growing feeling inside of me.

A creeping understanding that I was using ‘love’ for another, to hide away from loving myself.

How I have actually been doing this all of my life, and how most of us do the same.

Last weekend, I went on retreat at the Global Retreat Centre in Oxford.

We did an exercise, that will stay with me for a long time. (hopefully, the way it made me feel I will always remember, and get to experience again)

We were instructed to gaze into the eyes of another person in silence. To look beyond their eyes into their soul. 

It was powerful.

Emotion bubbled up inside of me, and I began to cry.

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I realised that I have never really been looked at like that before. Been seen for the soul I am, and not the facade that coats it.

Being seen not for my hair, the colour of my skin or the birthmark on my forehead.

Being seen not for the scars on my chest.

It reminded me of how a special person in my life has looked at me.

It was the look of a soul connecting to another.

All weekend, everyone on retreat connected to each other from a place of such real and deep love, that I realised how much we have misunderstood love.

As mentioned here,  recently I have begun to truly understand what love is all about.

Last weekend I went a step further. I realised that love is much like what Elizabeth Bishop writes about in her poem above.

Love is the art of losing 

Love is the acceptance that things will end.

Love is the willingness to let people and situations go.

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Love is about understanding that when something is taken away from you, you need not stop loving it. 

Love is about gracefully understanding that we own, and are owed nothing.

*

I visualised my favourite park, whilst writing this blog post. I imagined spending some time with the animals there.

I felt what it would feel like to sit on a bench with a cup of tea, and breathe in the fresh air.

I quieted my mind, and realised that all the people I have ‘lost’, are right here with me – within me, in my soul.

That is what I could see reflected in the eyes of a virtual stranger – the love that I carry within me.

When we learn when to forgive, when to let go, when to compromise, and when to wait- we know what love is.

When we learn how to be alone, we know what love is.

When we learn to love losing the things we love…

We become love.

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Much love forever Txx

 

 

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