I wish improvement; advancement and success only meant adding one victory on top of another.

It also means fully experiencing each loss no matter how painful it is.

“Catastrophic loss by definition precludes recovery. It will transform us or destroy us, but it will never leave us the same. There is no going back to the past… It is not therefore true that we become less through loss–unless we allow the loss to make us less, grinding our soul down until there is nothing left. Loss can also make us more. I did not get over my loved ones; rather I absorbed the loss into my life until it became part of who I am. Sorrow took up permanent residence in my soul and enlarged it… One learns the pain of others by suffering one’s own pain, by turning inside oneself, by finding one’s own soul… How every painful, sorrow is good for the soul… the soul is elastic, like a balloon. It can grow larger through suffering.” Jerry Sittser, from his book A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows through Loss, is quoted by Peter Scazzero in his book, The Emotionally Healthy Church.

How do we do that?

You don’t need to pursue loss and grief. It will find you, sooner or later. When it does, you must recognize the feelings and own them. They are dark and ominous and you will fear that you will sink into an abyss where you can never come out. (If you do get stuck, become suicidal, your health is threatened or you cannot function for an extended period of time, seek professional help from a grief counselor right away.) It is likely; your grief experience will be a transforming part of your life. It is an honest, authentic place. Your view of life is expands. Your compassion for the suffering is enriched and your experience of God becomes robust, vivid and real.

Your life matters. The Big League life fully experiences all that life has to offer, even the pain. It can make you more.