How to process material losses, so you can let go
A few weeks back, my husband and I travelled to Greece for a long-awaited 2-week holiday.
As we landed in Athens, we shortly came to realise that my luggage (that I had carefully packed and shopped for) had been lost. As I felt a deep sense of sadness, a voice in my head jumped right back – “You should be above it! Material things shouldn’t make you so unhappy.”
So I didn’t allow myself to ‘mourn’ this seemingly insignificant loss which somehow mattered a great deal to me. The result – during my entire holiday, part of my headspace was taken by it. All because I hadn’t processed the loss.
A quote to keep in mind
“All experiences move us forward if we are aware and open to learning from them.”
– Judson Brewer; American psychiatrist, neuroscientist and New York Times best-selling author.
How to process losses (big or small)
They say that Happiness = Reality - Expectations. I find that successful processing results in re-setting our expectations, such that they match our new reality more closely.
Looking back, here’s what I wish I had done:
💡 List out all the things, experiences and hopes that were/felt lost
💡 Note down how I felt and all the thoughts behind those feelings
💡Ask myself – “What was it about those things that I cared so deeply about?”
💡Ask myself – “What would need to happen for me to be able to let go?”