Nathan Peterson

You Have Nothing To Lose

Throughout human history, loss has been a catalyst for growth. Disasters have led to unity. Pandemics have ultimately led to maturity.

It's true in nature as well. Struggle leads to strength. Death leads to life.

When we step back, we can see how life flows--growing, healing, and supporting new life. Through challenges and even loss.

Loss is not pleasant. But in retrospect we can see that even the most painful loss serves life's flow. The more we recognize this, the easier it can be to soften toward life's challenges, and to receive the benefits of growing through them.

As I've explored this softening in my own life, I've found that most of the pain I experience is not from my circumstances, but from my attitude toward my circumstances.

When we shift our attitude from one of opposition to one of cooperation, we find that life's challenges can be a source of growth, not just pain. This realization is life-changing.

But I want to suggest something more:

Loss, while a powerful catalyst for growth, is not a requirement for growth.

I'm not suggesting that we can escape loss. It is a part of life. But this teacher can teach us from up close and from afar. Its lessons are always available to us, whether we're currently experiencing loss or not.

Life's challenges help us to grow. But our growth does not come from the challenge itself; it is the change inside us, triggered by the challenge. We don't have to wait for external challenges. We can invite this inner change now, by our own volition. We can develop a daily practice of letting go.

Does developing a daily practice of letting go and inviting change sound terrifying to anyone else?! :)

Change is uncomfortable for all of us; it's often the most painful part of loss. But once we accept the change a loss brings, its sting begins to fade. Holding on to what we cannot keep causes us pain. Loss forces us to accept the truth: what we thought we had was never ours to keep. This realization is painful, but it frees us.

Loss forces us to see the truth. But the truth is and has always been there. At any moment, we can choose to accept the truth. We can choose to let go. We don't have to be forced. And this brings us to the real challenge:

I'm afraid that if I let go of the things I love, I'll lose them.

If this is you as well, give yourself a moment right now. Let that voice be heard. It deserves to be heard. Appreciated. Loved...


What happens when we accept the challenge of letting go now, by our own volition? Not waiting for the loss we spend so much of our energy trying to avoid to force us.

Will we really lose what we love? Can we lose something we never had?

We're not letting go of the thing, whatever it is. We're letting go of our beliefthat it was ever ours to keep.

You can't lose what you never had. By letting go of it, you free it to come closer. You free yourself to enjoy it while it is here.

We can easily miss what is here while it's here, if we're busy trying to keep it.

When my son was three, every time we handed him an ice cream cone he would squeeze it until it broke--the ice cream would slip through his fingers and onto the ground as he screamed in frustration. It wasn't wrong for him to want--to looooove!--but in trying to keep it, he very rarely got to enjoy an ice cream cone.

Whoever seeks to keep his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will keep it.

Let it go. Don't try to keep it. You can't. Instead, enjoy it.

When you are able to do this, when you even try, you grow in freedom. So does the world around you. This is the lesson loss teaches us.

I believe we are entering a season, as humans, where we no longer require external forces to trigger our growth. We are ready to choose.

Let go. You have nothing to lose. 🌊

#courage #freedom #letting go #self-awareness #self-care