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What Kind of Loser Are You?

A Guided Self-Inquiry 

This study, What Kind of Loser Are You?, is designed as an in-depth self-inquiry into your relationship with loss. Use it in whatever way best serves you.  If you work through the entire study in one sitting, it should take about 60-90 minutes. Or you can break it up into sections, choosing to focus on one video at a time.  Perhaps you prefer to do the study by yourself; maybe you would like to take it alongside a friend or small group, pausing to discuss what you are discovering. You can journal your reponses and insights, create artwork as you explore, or combine this study with any spiritual practices you may already have.  Make it your own.

 

I invite you to return to this inquiry again and again. You will learn, I think, that your relationship with loss (like any relationship) changes over time.

 

Ready to learn more about yourself?  Here we go . . . 

Introduction:  What Kind of Loser Are You?

Here, the basic concepts of loss and of relating to loss are discussed, and the Loss Orientation Inventory is introduced.  You can find the form for that Inventory here

Assessment/Loss Orientation Inventory

This portion of the study guides us into an initial assessment of the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs we may already have about loss.  Take some time to review your answers; allow yourself to be surprised! Notice any patterns, and pay particular attention to the statements that elicited a strong rise or drop in energy and/or emotions from you.  

 

In this video, we discuss some of the most common behaviors in response to loss:  avoidance, box-checking, story-cycling, turning it around, and loss-loving. It is likely that you have engaged in one or perhaps all of them at sometime.  Notice: which of these behaviors feels most comfortable to you? Which feels uncomfortable, even repulsive?

Questioning

With this video, we begin to question the ideas, assumptions, and opinions we have about loss in several of its myriad forms (specifically, transition, illness, death, and grief).  The tool introduced to support this investigation is The Work of Byron Katie. Specifically, we use her four questions to explore each of the thoughts we hold about loss:
 

Is it true?

Can I absolutely know it’s true?

How do I react, what happens, when I believe that thought?

Who would I be without that thought?

 

Learn more about this inspiring, powerful practice here:

https://thework.com/

Going Deeper

This section draws us deeper into our exploration by encouraging us to assess how we interact with loss in three different realms:

 

Loss and our Minds:  the valuable practice of Wild Mind Writing is introduced as a method of uncovering the thoughts beneath our thoughts.  To explore this practice further, visit Natalie Goldberg’s website: https://nataliegoldberg.com/

Her books are all treasures; for this inquiry the most helpful may be Wild Mind:  Living the Writer’s Life and Writing Down the Bones:  Freeing the Writer Within.

 

I was introduced to this practice by my writing mentor, Mirabai Starr.  You can learn more about her inspirational work here:

https://www.mirabaistarr.com/

 

Loss and our Bodies:  here, we are invited to allow our bodies to share their secrets of loss.  No fancy practice is needed, no particular method. As you exercise or sit quietly; as you make dinner or pottery or love, gently and lovingly ask, “What loss have I not yet grieved?”  Listen and feel the responses.

 

Loss and our Emotions:  if you are uncomfortable expressing emotions related to loss or being around others who are expressing emotions related to loss, you may benefit from some “catch-up” emoting.  Choose a book, a movie, an artwork that evokes grief, sorrow, or loss -- and allow these emotions to arise, persist, and fall away. Also helpful is to listen to others’ stories, particularly those of people we have not yet met.  When we do this, we allow ourselves to experience whatever arises, without the need to comfort or companion anyone else. My favorite way to do this is through the fabulous podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking. Listen to that here:

https://www.ttfa.org/

A New Teacher

This video leads us into an exploration of all the people and sources that have taught us about loss; each of them has affected how we encounter transition.  These teachers include our own experiences as well as lessons learned from our families, religious traditions, communities, cultures, and even the media messages that surround us.  As we work to understand and perhaps change the way we interact with loss, it is essential that we examine what we have learned so that we may determine what we want to retain from those teachings and what we need to disgard or update.  Consciously choosing our mentors in loss is a powerful way to redefine and restructure What Kind of Loser we would like to be. This study ends with an introduction to my most wise and faithful guide in this land of loss and gives a few hints for using Nature as Teacher.

 

Contact Amy with any questions, requests, stories, or feedback at amyagape@passings.us

© 2018 by  Amy Agape

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