We lose daily. We lose moments, we lose hours, we lose pegs. We lose so that there is room to gain.
I am a strong believer in the “realm of possibility” (thanks to David Levithan); in the infinite world of potential. Each moment is a door, each interaction is an opportunity. Within the realm, nothing is fixed, and all is possible. While some outcomes are more probable than others, this does not lessen or reduce the boundaries of potential. They are ever expanding by our movements and exploration. I believe in moments, and I believe in today over tomorrow.
Something that strikes us hard, and that we could think differently about, is loss. I’m not meaning the grief of loved ones that have passed, because that is really hard and and can feel unbearable. Rather, I’m interested in what happens when we believe we lose friends, or opportunities, or parts of who we are.
While our realm of possibility is broader and richer in depth than our doubts can let us see, our more humanly faucets do have limitations. We have a set amount of time in each day, a fixed quantity of energy that we can expend; a boundary of our humanness that can halt and turn us. Our personality, our experiences, our life situation determines the diameter of fencing around us, and in which direction it extends.
These such “limitations” can result in relationships changing, opportunities that we had hoped were right for us, not granted, and mental illnesses. All experiences that are often viewed as a loss.
And while this could be taken as we are our own worst enemies, restricting ourselves through our very being, it may actually be a good thing. Without our nature of being human, nothing would happen because there would be no pressure influencing circumstances and situations towards a certain way. We would be boundaryless, unfixed, floating away from all that is good, into the stratosphere.
The very nature of being human includes our limitations on time, on energy, and this is good. When something doesn’t go as we had hoped or planned, and thus is lost, this reduces the pressure on our time and energy. This allows space to open, to become vacant, for new experiences that we otherwise would have not had room for. The realm of possibility seeps in, allowing for expansions of our lives that otherwise would have never had the space to happen. And this is perfect, exciting, limitless and creative.
When we lose, we inevitably gain. Sometimes friends or relationships drift away, and this is painful. However, ultimately space within our time and energy fixtures becomes free, free for possibility and potential, and this is everything to gain. Mental illnesses, while they can be viewed as losing part of ourselves to a monster in the shadows, also give rise to new opportunities for connections to others, for learning and for growth. It is through these experiences that we gain, that we are dynamic and change who we are. We are forever becoming more of ourselves.
Here’s what I know about the realm of possibility— it is always expanding, it is never what you think it is. Everything around us was once deemed impossible. From the airplane overhead to the phones in our pockets to the choir girl putting her arm around the metalhead. As hard as it is for us to see sometimes, we all exist within the realm of possibility. Most of the limits are of our own world’s devising. And yet, every day we each do so many things that were once impossible to us.
David Levithan, The Realm of Possibility.