We all experience loss in different ways. Is there a way to use your loss for greater benefit, both to yourself and others? If you learn how to leverage your loss, then you will be further along tomorrow than you are today. How do you turn your darkness into light?
The problem with loss is that in most of our minds we only view it as a negative. Now, loss IS backwards movement. But, the key to understanding forward movement is the following:
View steps backward like a slingshot. When you experience loss, you can allow one of two things to happen.
First, you can wallow in the pity of the loss, while never actually dealing with the consequences and pain of that loss. This inevitably leads to even greater loss in the future.
Second, you can accept the loss, recognize it for what it is, mourn it properly, then ask yourself this question: “How can I use this loss to get even further than I was before?” This propels you like a slingshot. It accepts the reality of the loss and leverages it to propel you even further than before.
Growth ONLY happens through loss. If you want to grow, to progress, to move forward, you WILL experience loss. And loss is painful. But, if you leverage your loss, that pain can be turned into prosperity.
Loss comes through a variety of factors. It might be due to an intentional decision on your part to lose in one area in order to gain in another. That is intentional loss. But, there is unintentional loss as well. Sometimes, the loss happens due to your own fault or someone else’s fault. Either way, you experience the pain of that loss.
So, how can you leverage your loss in order to propel yourself even further than before? Here is a simple process for you:
Take account of your loss. Ask yourself this question: “What is it that I have actually lost?”
Measure the impact of your loss. Ask yourself this question: “How has this loss affected me?” [emotionally, spiritually, relationally, financially, mentally, etc.]
Mourn your loss. Ask yourself this question: “How can I focus on this loss and honor myself or others impacted by this loss?” In other words, have yourself a “funeral”, in whatever way that applies.
Learn from your loss. Ask yourself this question: “What can this loss teach me about life in general and my life in particular?”
Take account of the benefits. Ask yourself this question: “Does this loss come with any benefits that I might use?” [open doors, lessons learned, new relationships, new opportunities, etc.]
Leverage those benefits. Ask yourself this question: “How can I put these benefits to good use without letting them go to waste?”
I believe that you can leverage your loss if you follow this simple process. Loss is never the end. It can be the mountain you die on or it can be the slingshot that propels you to your preferred future.
Donald Trump will be the new president of the United States of America. What now?
I, like many others (on both the right and the left) were completely surprised that he won. I know people on both sides of the aisle that didn’t think it was possible for him to win, yet here we are!
So, what to do? What’s the next step? What’s the next move? I believe there are a few things that you and I can do to respond to this new season that is upon is.
Before I get to that, let me give you a reference point for what I will say. Have you ever had a conversation with someone, read a blog post, or heard a sermon or podcast where the speaker/author shares a “perspective” with you, without sharing their point of view? But, when you read or listen to it, you know based off of how they’re writing or speaking what they’re really trying to say? They attempt to covertly bring you over to their side without telling you straight out.
Yeah…that is not what I want to do here today. My goal is to speak to everyone, challenging all of us to be the best version of ourselves that we can be. It’s kind of like the movie Shutter Island. Is Leonardo DiCaprio’s character really a U.S. marshal, or is he actually insane? When I spoke to friends about the movie, I loved playing the “devil’s advocate”, challenging their assumptions no matter which side they fell on. I’d like to do the same today. Let’s get started!
Wisely engage your emotions. If you are happy that Trump won, then celebrate! If you are grieving about Clinton’s loss, then mourn! There is nothing wrong with what you feel. But please, for the sake of your friends, family (especially children), followers on Facebook or Twitter, etc. engage your emotions wisely. Only you can determine what wisdom looks like in the context of your emotional state. If you’re celebrating, don’t blame others for mourning. If you’re mourning, don’t blame others for celebrating.
I have my feelings, but most would not know them on Facebook, partly because I don’t even know how to express them properly in a way that everyone would understand…so I have chosen to engage my emotions a little more privately. If airing them in a public manner is helpful to you and others, then do that as well! I’m in no way creating rules here…just inviting you to exercise wisdom in your response.
Exercise EMPATHY over JUDGMENT. This one is huge. In fact, I may write a separate post just about this one. Between last night and this morning, I have been reading hundreds of people’s comments on Facebook and other locations. I am discouraged to see so many people ascribe motives to another person for their vote. That is judgment, nothing more and nothing less. It especially saddens me to see Clinton supporters think of all Trump supporters as racists, or to see Trump supporters think of all Clinton supporters as baby killers (abortion).
Listen my friends, there is only one person who knows the heart of man, and that is God himself. Second to that, we cannot begin to understand a person’s feelings unless we actually know the person. When we choose empathy, we choose to step into the other person’s shoes. I believe that most people voted out of fear during this election cycle. Those who supported Trump were afraid of losing jobs, losing the Supreme Court, etc. Those who supported Clinton were/are afraid that Trump’s election will bring about waves of discrimination against different minority (ethnic, social, etc.) groups. When we step into someone else’s shoes, we begin to know them for who they truly are, which increases our ability to engage them and love them. Choose to step into someone else’s shoes and see what you learn.
Pray. Did God place Trump as president? Was it up to the free will of the people who voted? Different Christians have different theological viewpoints on how man’s free will and God’s sovereignty plays out. I happen to think there is a combination of both at work. Either way, 1 Timothy 2:1-3 states, “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.3 This is good and pleases God our Savior,4 who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.”
I get three important things from this call to pray. First, when we pray for Trump, for our nation, for Democrats and for Republicans (and all others), the end result may be peace! Second, this is pleasing to God. And last, there seems to be a direct relationship between people coming to salvation and our decision to pray. Being driven by our desperation, by our fear, or even by our victories can easily jeopardize an opportunity for someone to come to faith in Christ through our example.
Hope. God’s kingdom is eternal. The reigns of Trump, Obama, Bush, Clinton, Reagan, etc. are not! Even the worst dictator has an end to his reign. We place our hope, not in a political system, but in a savior who came to bring his life to the entire world.
If your hope was placed in Clinton, it was in the wrong place. If your hope was (and still is) placed in Trump, your hope is in the wrong place. The end has not arrived, and when it does, Jesus will be right there in the middle of it. Let’s choose to place our trust in the one who has the ultimate say about how all of this will play out in the end.
And lastly, come to church on Sunday. We are followers of Jesus first of all. Regardless of where we land in politics, we are brothers and sisters, part of a great family. We need each other at a moment like this.
If you’re in the L.A. area, you’re welcome to join us! citylifela.org
Love you all!
JeffTolle.org is home to the writings of Pastor Jeff Tolle, a local church pastor in Los Angeles, California. He loves to write about living a life of influence.