I’ve been thinking a lot about my Nan lately. She died when I was 9. We used to spend a lot of time together, and although I didn’t understand it properly at the time it was a big loss for me, and for the rest of my family. She was relatively young, and it was unexpected. Her death had a big impact on all of us.
I wished I had got to know her more, as I got older, and that we could have spent more time together. But I do remember the special feeling I had when we were together, and how she cared for me and made me feel, as well as the fun and laughter we shared.
As I moved house recently, and was sorting through my things I came across some of her old jewellery. It was a comfort to me to wear one of her necklaces that I also remember her wearing. As it sat there right on my chest, I could feel my heart, and I realized in that moment that love can never leave you.
I’ve played around with this premise for some years now, but it seems to go deeper in certain moments and it’s something I wanted to share.
Fear of loss has been a thing for me, ever since that time when I was 9. And probably even before, as my Mum had feared losing me, having lost five pregnancies before. It’s interesting to see how these things affect us, and how we look outside for reassurance that the love is still there; how we make decisions based on this fear, often unconsciously.
But I have come to see more and more that love can never leave you. Having ‘lost’ other things since that time, I can see more and more clearly that anything outside of us – whether it’s a person, an experience, or a thing – ignites the feeling of love that is already there within us. Anything that sparks that feeling for us, and reminds us of our true nature, is a gift – whether it’s there for a few minutes or many, many years.
Whilst we may long for that thing to stick around, so that we can continue feeling those feelings of love, we can see that this is an illusion. Whilst it may be lovely for that thing to be there, and for those feelings to be brought to the surface so easily, we can remember that those feelings are actually ours. They’re inside of us.
So there’s no reason to grasp on, to worry if that thing will be around forever, or to need it to be any certain way. Those feelings are there, and we can reignite them simply by thinking of that person or experience. Then once again they will be close by, and we get to feel the love. The love that is always inside us. The love that we’re made of.
So anything we experience in life that brings us great joy, or that reminder of love, is a gift. We can cherish it, and we can savour the feelings we experience as a result. It’s only natural that we can start to fear losing anything that we love that much, and that loving or living in this way feels like a risk. By loving and living so freely, we are opening ourselves up to the pain of loss.
But with this new understanding we see that love can never be lost. We are simply lucky to be experiencing the love at all, whatever package that may come in. Anything outside of us can only ever remind us of the love that we are, the capacity we have to love, and to feel love, and that will be there for as long as we live.
So enjoy anything and everything that fills you up. Be so grateful for the things and the people that bring you joy, and know that the feelings they conjure are yours to keep for a lifetime. There will be plenty more where that came from, maybe with a different flavour or in different packaging, but there is an endless supply, all ultimately coming from the same source.
Whilst a particular thing may never be replaced, it doesn’t need to be. Because that’s within you. Any special bond or experience is yours to carry with you. We can be collectors of love and experiences, until we are full to the brim. To me that is a life well lived, full of fun and riches.
So take chances, and don’t hold back through fear of what you may lose. It will all ultimately be yours to keep, and you never know what you could be missing in the meantime.
This published was also published on Rebelle Society.