What do you love? What have you lost? These are the first two questions in the “From Many, One” program we are exploring during the Season of Advent. Love and loss pull at our hearts deeply and powerfully. Love and loss are universal experiences, but we rarely share these parts of ourselves.
And yet, so much of what we do and care about is driven by protecting or seeking what we love and avoiding or mourning what we have lost. If we can share the stories of love and loss in our lives, we can connect across differences. We can recognize the feelings and hopes we have in common.
In his book, Falling Upward, Richard Rohr writes that loss, failure, and falling, are all necessary to spiritual growth: “By denying their pain, avoiding the necessary falling, many have kept themselves from their own spiritual depths – and therefore have been kept from their own spiritual heights.”
To move from being many to being one we must share both our loves and our losses. Yes, it takes courage to share our loves and our losses, but the reward is connection and relationship. When you know what someone has lost, you know something of their heart. When you share what you have lost, you share a bit of who you are.