“Loss is nothing else but change, and change is Nature’s delight.”
~Marcus Aurelius on loss and change
Water, flowing water, is always moving, always changing. Not only does the water itself move, but the movement of the water also carves changes in land and turns sharp edges smooth. Water takes the shape of its container with ease, yet has the power to topple buildings (talk about loss and change). Fresh flowing water has the power to heal our bodies and ease our tensions, plus it makes the best tea.
Compare that with a swamp: still stagnant water that attracts mosquitoes and other pests. Sure, it’s the perfect environment for mosquitoes and alligators, but you are not either of those creatures. You need bright, fresh, clear water to thrive. As KC Carter says, “We’re all pieces of jagged glass in a turbulent sea and we’re all just trying to end up with some beautiful pieces of sea glass eventually.”
Loss and Change
So what happens when you experience a loss, and what does this water metaphor have to do with change?
When water does not flow, it becomes stagnant. And when water becomes stagnant it stinks and becomes unfit for human life. On the other hand, flowing water is in a constant state of change and encourages many more life forms than swamp water does.
We desire the fresh flowing water. We want our lives to be sparkly and clean, yet we are more comfortable in the swamp. We unconsciously choose the swamp because it’s easier to stay small, we fear success, or we just don’t know any differently. It’s hard for us to make the move from the swamp to the ocean. We prefer the fresh salt are but feel safer in the dank putrid air.
When loss occurs, you are in the perfect position to relocate. To leave the swamp and move by a river or ocean, metaphorically if not physically. Loss is this beautiful thing that breaks down all barriers to reason and logic and puts you in touch with your essentials. Loss and change are the impetus to your connection with your true needs and desires.
The Great Move
How many times have you made, or seen someone else, make a great change after a great loss? Has it been breathtakingly beautiful, or does it leave you gasping for air? If you make the move to fresh flowing water, chances are you’ll be breathing easy. However, if you’re constantly struggling to fill your lungs, you’ve probably moved further into the swamp.
The choice is always yours. Where do you live after loss and change, and can you find any delight in it all?