Losing is painful. It doesn’t matter what – work, a marketing, your quality of life, a lover, a spouse – it’s painful. Sure, the pain is greater, the greater the loss, but once we lose something, we feel it deeply.
A friend of mine, a trial lawyer by trade, recently lost a huge case. He’s not in the habit of losing trials, for him this is a most unusual experience a course in miracles audio. But what intrigued me was his attitude about any of it: “I can see where I made some mistakes. I am aware it’s hindsight and all that, but I seriously misjudged how the jurors would look at certain facts. I can’t await my next trial – I involve some thoughts on what I possibly could did differently, and I do want to observe how they’ll play out.”
His is an optimist’s attitude. A miracle-making attitude. The one that practically guarantees success. Oh, maybe not every time, but more frequently than not. It’s well established that optimists succeed beyond their actual aptitude and talents – all because of their attitude.
Many lawyers, in his position, might have expended their efforts laying blame somewhere: on opposing counsel for underhanded tricks, on the Judge to be biased toward another side, on the jurors for “not getting it,” on their trial team to be inefficient, or on themselves. My friend, however, simply assessed his work, determined what was missing, and was rarin’ to be on another trial – so he could yet again, win.
All it took was a shift in perception, what Marianne Williamson* defines as “a miracle.” Or, to my method of thinking, a shift in perception (how you start to see the loss) lays the groundwork for a miracle, for something to occur which is a lot better than what was expected. By moving off the blame-game, and choosing instead to master from the experience (the shift in perception), my friend put himself back on the success track.
When you look at your loss, whatever it is, as permanent and all-encompassing, then affirmed, you’ll feel devastated and struggling to release and move on. If, on the contrary, you look at your loss – be it the increased loss of work, a spouse, a consumer, your savings – as temporary, something to master from – then odds are excellent that you will have the ability to maneuver onto better yet things; to a “miracle.”
The only real change is in how you perceive the big event, the loss. And that, unlike the loss itself, is wholly within your control. Buck against it though we might, we could always control what we think. No, it’s definitely not easy. I find it will take considerable effort to maneuver my thoughts off the comfort of wound-licking and self-pity to thoughts which will generate a much better future. But it’s doable.