Don’t Let Fear Of Loss Close Your Heart
I’m in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the city and country I grew up in, visiting my parents.
I have not lived in this city for over twenty years, and so being here is always very emotional as I reconnect with past feelings and history.
I am here staying with my parents who are now in their 80s. I’m aware of their frailty and our time together coming to an end. I’m not living the pain of loss, but I recognize the beginning of my own grieving process. I honor my feelings while I create new experiences.
As I deal with my emotions, thoughts come to my mind: would it have been easier if I had let past disagreements have broken us apart? Would it be easier now, if I had stopped myself from loving them as much as I do?
As I entertain those thoughts I realize that’s what so many of us do with our relationships, wishes and desires.
In fear of loss, we recoil. We stop passionately wanting to fulfill our desires because we fear not seeing them come true. In fear, we stop profoundly loving our friends, families and partners because we don’t want to lose them or be abandoned. But as we fear, we also stop loving and living life.
When we were children and fell, we cried, got up and started playing again. We did that, because playing was fun and because we didn’t have in the back of our minds that playing sometimes involved falling and getting hurt. As we get older, we forget how fun it is to play and we become consumed by the fear of falling.
I fight the fear because I have loved and been loved and know embracing life means having the time and sensitivity to feel the rain. It means to be present when hugging a friend. It also means to openly give and receive love from our relationships. And it mostly means not using fear and anger to close our hearts. There is no fun or life in that. There is only sadness.