I posted my regular weekly ‘Law of’ post on social media last week. Each week, I look at something I have learned, and I think about a law I would like to adhere to in my life. Last week was the law of loss. As I thought about the many things I have lost in my lifetime, there is one thing in common with all of them. At one point, I had them in my life. Whether you have experienced loss of an item, loss of a job or money, loss of a relationship or loss of a loved one, at one stage you had them in your life. So, the law of loss, in my mind states, you can’t lose something you didn’t have for a season in your life. That is something to celebrate and be incredibly grateful for.
Soon after I posted this law on my social media platforms, this message came through:
Perfect timing, Andrew. My father’s funeral is in mere hours, and it breaks my heart to only be there virtually. But you are so right to remember to celebrate and be grateful for that season in my life.
My heart goes out to this person, who is a great friend of mine, for this heart-breaking loss. I am also grateful that I have been able to highlight the joy that lies in the beautiful time that will be a lasting and loving memory. For me, I would not have the heartache every time I think of my mother, who passed away in 2004, if I didn’t love her and the time I spent with her when she was alive. So, whilst she is gone, that unconditional love, and those memories will go with me forever. As a result, I am changing my narrative from what I lost to what I had. I hope you will do the same.
When I was 23 years old, I read in the newspaper that I had been sacked from the St Kilda Football Club. I thought I had lost a career, but in fact, what I actually had was seven years of incredible achievement, lessons, and memories that I will have forever, and has shaped my life in many ways. Many years ago, I spent a lot of money on a part share of a racehorse, and eventually lost all that money, and more. On reflection, what I had was a period of excitement and fun as that horse competed in many races, and even won a couple of them. I am grateful for that time.
I have spoken about my experience as a café owner, and after two years of business being in close to $100,000 debt. At the time I believed I had lost money, time, energy, and hope. Looking back what I had was the experiences and platform that set me up to be doing what I am doing and loving my life now. Back in my early days as an author, I made the rookie mistake of not backing up the manuscript of the book I was writing. My computer crashed, and it was gone. I was devastated as I thought I had lost it. In fact, what I had was the opportunity to write it better than before. So, I did.
When it comes to relationships, it would be very easy for me to dissolve into a sobbing mess on the floor as I reflect on my past. Many relationships, many thoughtless words and actions, many poor choices and lots of regret. However, with my new and improved narrative, I can let go of all that I have lost and focus on the wonderful joy and memories I had with each and every one of those wonderful ladies, starting with my very first kiss at the age of 9 with Suzy in the bushes that surrounded the oval at my primary school. When I think about what I had, I smile.
In my podcast this week called The miracle question, with Dr Matt Zakreski, we discuss the unique wonder and strengths that every person has. It is so easy to think about and focus on what we don’t have, but it is what we do have and what we use that will help us live our best life possible. It is a podcast I encourage you to listen to.
You see, life happens to all of us. We all have people, and things that come into our life and many of them leave again. It is important to realise that you haven’t lost anything if you focus on what you had. Every joyful moment, every learning experience, every interaction, every opportunity, and every memory you have is yours forever. You can never lose it. So, this week I want to encourage you to forget about what you have lost and instead focus on what you had.