What a cheery and happy title for a Monday morning, huh? But stay with me here because it really is all about hope and optimism with me. Over the weekend I was reading the latest issue of O, The Oprah Magazine and particularly delighted in Martha Beck’s column. Beck details the ten life lessons you should “unlearn.” I found myself highlighting practically every other word. This, of course, helped me decide that this may be inspiring to you all, as well.

Having experienced a double whammy of loss recently and being painfully aware that loss is inevitable in life, it is helpful and optimistic to see the silver lining. Loss teaches us some very valuable lessons and helps open our hearts to love and appreciation. It teaches us how to heal and how to live.

Beck writes:

Ten years ago I still feared loss enough to abandon myself in order to keep things stable. I’d smile when I was sad, pretend to like people who appalled me. What I now know is that losses aren’t cataclysmic if they teach the heart and soul their natural cycle of breaking and healing. A real tragedy? That’s the loss of the heart and soul themselves. If you’ve abandoned yourself in the effort to keep anyone or anything else, unlearn that pattern. Live your truth, losses be damned. Just like that, your heart and soul will return home.

Whether the loss you are experiencing is the death of a loved one, the end of  a relationship, or the distance of friends, it is important to understand and appreciate the cycle of breaking and healing. Loss does not define us, it does not make us unlucky or cursed, it is simply a part of life. Yes, it is probably the most difficult part of life, but it is one that helps us learn and grow and strengthens us. From loss we learn that we are stronger than we ever believed possible.