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What Can We Learn From Our Losses?

Updated on November 3, 2018
A sunset on the Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada
A sunset on the Georgian Bay, Ontario, Canada | Source

I just finished playing a video-game online with some other people. The score was a tie between the two teams, with four minutes until the end. My team made a push for it and we were able to score with just a minute and a half left in the game. Thus, we won. Barely but we won.

I thought about the idea of “never give up until the end”. I know it to be true and I was glad that I still put that idea into practice. Sure, this was just a game but I act the same way whether I play a game, or not. At the same time, I thought: “Okay, that’s the lesson from the winning side but what about the other team? What could they learn from that loss?”

Well, they could learn the same lesson: “never give up until the end” but also from that is the lesson that “one should work hard until the end, having no expectations”. Expectations are never helpful. They can be deceiving and sometimes they themselves can lead to losses, if for example one thinks they won a game before the end. A loss can come unexpectedly, for many reasons. So, we should always keep going in whatever we do with focus and determination.

For better or worse, I have had many losses along the way. Just before turning sixteen, I lost my mother to leukemia. That was perhaps the hardest loss to go through for me because I didn’t think it would happen and I never contemplated the possible consequences of such a situation. The loss was a brutal shock and one which took many years to even comprehend, never-mind healing from it.

I learned a lot of things from that experience. I learned about not taking things for granted. I learned that in a matter of a few years someone can go from healthy to dead. Sorry to be blunt but that’s how things went. This lesson was reinforced when my friend Sam passed away at the age of twenty-eight from bone cancer. He went from healthy to gone in a few years as well. The lesson to always appreciate those around You because You never know when they go, was evident. The lesson came from death but I am still thankful. I am always thankful for lessons, no matter how difficult the experience was. Waking up to a nurse telling You that your mother passed away and seeing that her chest was no longer going up and down, that there was no breath in her body … that was not easy. Nonetheless, I learned many things.

After that experience, I had to learn how to cook. I learned to take care of myself a little more, in all aspects of life. That experience pushed me to become a little more independent because: “We never know when people close to us go”. And as one of my friends said, ultimately: “I was born alone and I will die alone”. It is a truth in life, except for some twins who are born more, or less at the same time.

I lost many other things which I learned from. One important lesson was when a few years ago, I fractured my shin. I went from being a fairly active person, to hopping on one foot, from the couch to a chair, by my work/play desk. One quick lessons I learned, was that I couldn’t carry a four liter milk bag. That was a hard lesson to learn and accept, as I drink four liters of milk every three days. I learned all about walking with crutches. I learned about injuries. I learned about physiotherapy (I never went to the doctor – I healed my leg on my own). I learned that many people are nice and will hold the door for those who are visibly injured. I am thankful for those people and for the lessons learned.

I lost friends to suicide. My brother-in-law is someone who took that path. I learned a lot from him because we talked a lot before he took his own life, on many occasions. He sat with me here in this room and we talked about life. We talked about death and pain and happiness and many other things. I am not upset at him and although his death affected my entire family, I am still thankful for the lessons learned. No matter how much we try, we will never be able to change the mind of someone who wishes to die. We can try to help certainly but we cannot fully prevent a suicide from happening. Those who wish to go will go. The rest of us need to accept that, no matter how uncomfortable such situations are. With that in mind, I am happy and thankful that the Canadian government has legalized voluntary euthanasia, a couple of years ago.

Another major loss that I have experienced in the recent past is the loss of identity. Nobody stole my identity. I just lost most of it along the way. A Romanian friend of mine pointed that out when I met him in the UK a few years ago. He mentioned that I have an accent when I speak Romanian.

“What do You mean I have an accent,” I asked curiously.

“You just sound like You’re not Romanian” he responded plainly.

Well, that’s what people say here in Toronto when they talk to me: that I have an accent. Most ask if I am Quebecois because I have a “French accent”. Well, I was Romanian at some point (legally I still am). I have the paper-work to prove it. Haha!! That doesn’t matter. The perception that I am not Romanian seems to pop-up when Romanians hear me speak and when I speak English people ask me where I am from. The only reasonable answer to that would be: Earth. I am from Earth.

That’s the lesson learned after realizing that I’m not really Romanian, or Canadian. My identity, in this three dimensional perspective (not speaking in spiritual terms) is tied to this planet on which we are living. I actually feel part of it. This doesn’t mean that I stopped listening to Romanian folk music, that I no longer cook Romanian food or that I do not read Romanian articles. I do. It’s just that I am much more than Romanian, or Canadian. Let’s just say that I see it as: I’ve been growing and changing and those are lessons too. We often have to lose things in order to grow and transform. With no change/loss, the caterpillar never becomes a butterfly.

In my opinion, we can take some positive lessons from any circumstance we find ourselves in. It doesn’t matter if that circumstance is perceived as good, or bad. There are always lessons to be taken away, for those who seek knowledge and wisdom. Don’t stay too comfortable amigos. Too much comfort leads to stillness and eventually decay. Search for knowledge and know that every loss has lessons to give, many lessons. I for one am thankful.

All the best to everyone!


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    • manatita44 profile image


      2 years ago from london

      Praise be! Happy New Year, my Friend.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Greetings Mr. Eric,

      Thank You for passing-by. I am happy You enjoyed the writing. Do be happy, "no matter what". It's a good path to be on.

      Cheers and Happy New Year! : )

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      What a pleasure to read. Oh, your losses are sad but your spirit soars on the winds. I would say for about two decades I do not see losses much.

      They had this room for serious chemo therapy patients. It had about 6 chairs. You would go in and spend a few hours getting pumped full of hateful drugs. Stuff that burned going in and of course major nausea and bone pain. We started out with all of us meeting weekly for our "session" but after a few weeks some were not seen again. After several it was just Benjamin Yazzie and me. We both made it to the end.

      I often wonder what the taught me. Certainly something. Perhaps to be happy, no matter what. Joyful is easy.

      You brought much goodness into my heart here. It reminds me to think of life and not of death. Thank you friend.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      What a pleasent surprise to hear from You, Northern Lady. Thank You for taking the time to read this piece of writing and for leaving a comment. I do appreciate it!

      Do keep your optimism, there is Light at the end of the tunnel.

      "There are things coming to fill it up when the time is right." - When the time is right, indeed. We may not always like the timing of things but in retrospect, we can often find that the timing was right. It's just that our Ego may not have agreed with the situation at that time. We just have to wait and take the time to learn from our experiences.

      Thanks again for your visit! : )

      May Wakan Tanka always walk with You.

    • profile image

      Northern Lady1 

      2 years ago

      A loss has been a theme for me in the past years. I have lost my circle of friends ( nobody died but just an argument that led to separation), my health ( luckily that is coming back) and my beloved and my one plan for my life. I have felt that I am always losing something. What loss have though taught me is my connection to Spirit and about my soul which is eternal. Nobody and nothing can take away those things, even if I'd lose everything in my life. And to be honest I have felt that I have lost almost everything, my friends, my health etc. But there is always optimism in me that wants to look at things from a different perspective, and I have noticed that even though I have lost a lot, the universe doesn't support an empty space. There are things coming to fill it up when the time is right. I am grateful for the losses 'cos they have taught me different, valuable lessons and deepened my connection to Spirit and my eternal soul.

      All the best!

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank You very much for taking the time to read this piece of writing and for leaving a comment, Salveny. I appreciate it.

      May Wakan Tanka guide your path!

    • salveny profile image


      2 years ago from universe

      This is heart-breaking, but so beautiful and honest. I admire Your strength and the will to learn from such situations.

      If there are people to follow, You are definitely one of them.

      Have a nice life!

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Mr. O'Brian, that is what I find so very interesting: many different schools of thought, or of spiritualism, talk about the importance of detachment and the need to break free of dogmas.

      So, I guess we have to "cheer" for adversity. Haha! I don't drink alcohol, so, we can cheer with milk lol

      Thank You so much for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      May Wakan Tanka walk with You.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank You for your visit and comment, Mr. Manatita.

      "adversity is the candle of the divine" - I like the sound of that! And let me tell You that many times, I've had to search for that Light in the Darkness. It's there! I wouldn't be here if it wasn't there.

      All the best!

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank You for stoping-by Mr. Bill.

      Expectations are often a pain. That is why I say that they are the certain path to dissapointment. Just do your best and expect nothing! That's what I say anyway. Cheers!

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Many schools of thought teach us that it is the difficult things in life that serve as an impetus to greater growth and wholeness. Jesus said that temptations (stumbling blocks) must come as a necessary experience in life. Buddha expressed this sentiment when he said that it is our enemy who teaches us the most valuable lessons. According to the psychological concept of individuation, it is only by overcoming adversity that we become whole and fully functioning individuals capable of realizing our true potential. Similarly, the Edgar Cayce readings teach us that it is the difficult things in life that present us with opportunities to further our spiritual development and bring us closer to God.

    • manatita44 profile image


      2 years ago from london

      It reads like my last poem and indeed the prose too. That adversity is the candle of the divine … that there is Light in darkness, that every event teaches us and if we are willing and alert; susceptible or receptive, we can learn a lot.

      Let me not steal your thunder. Your work is not only a brilliant but necessary piece. Written well and with the voice of experience. May we all learn from this and move forward in the Light. Praise be, Mr Happy

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      One of my mentors today me that expectations will eventually be the death of me if I didn't learn to toss them aside and just learn to live. He was correct, of course, but it took me a very long, long time to put that in practice.

      I lost my father when I was nineteen...devastating as many losses along the way. In fact, I'm the only one of my biological family and adopted family still standing....but I have learned how to deal with losses now and that has made all the difference.

      As always, peace be with you, my friend.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      2 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Haha! Indeed Mr. Diogenes.

      We do get a lot from it, life that is but we certainly can't take anything with us when we go. Thus, we gotta learn to live with losses and make the best of it!

      With that in mind, all the very best to You and thank You very much for passing-by - cheers!

    • diogenes profile image


      2 years ago from UK and Mexico's a loosing game...gotta live with it!



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