Maxie McCoy

What makes your life rich?

Experiencing loss comes in many different forms. When you have something that matters to you deeply and you lose it, there’s a hole. It’s an emptiness that feels like someone came and hollowed out the sole of your shoes. You might be standing in the exact same place looking at the exact same vistas, but it just feels different. And not in a good way. Losing jobs. Losing status. Losing hope. Losing love. Losing normalcy. Losing people. Losing anything that once mattered to you.

Sometimes, loss comes knocking on our door. Sometimes, we do our own knocking.

I’m in a chapter of loss. Everyone is safe, and my heart has been shattered. During the thick of my loss-ful moments, it felt like nothing else mattered. Thinking about anything beyond the next day felt like someone asking me to do a 100-yard sprint wearing those damn hollowed-out soles. I might die.

Yet, time ticks on. And days pass by. And slowly, there’s more moments between the meltdowns. On one hand, I’d have given anything to not be so sad. On the other hand, the sadness kept me in close proximity to the love.

The loss is very there. Very here. Simultaneously though, I’ve seen that where there’s loss, there can be clarity. The kind that’s really difficult to earn any other way. It’s like seeing across the street with the binoculars no one wants. Once the processing begins and the grief passes, it becomes really easy to see what matters. To you. In life. With new context. From there you can create just about anything.

It reminds me of some of the best writing advice I was ever given: write on an empty stomach. When you create from a place of emptiness, it’s focused. It’s potent. It’s clear. There’s an ease and fury that’s hard to contain.

Which brings me to a rich life. In this desert of loss, I’ve been adamant about knowing exactly where the water is. Turns out, it’s all around me. Everywhere there is something to rejoice in. Moment-by-moment there is so much love to be grateful for. Life is so rich, as long as we’ve defined it for ourselves. Our days are so rich, as long as we’ve chosen that for ourselves.

To name it is to see it. I’ve spent a lot of time naming the aspects of a rich life, rich to me. So that I see. So that I focus on it. So that I keep building with it. So that I feel it. Sometimes, it’s the names of specific people. Sometimes, it’s just a laundry list of small choices that color my day with more abundance than not.

Do you know what makes you feel abundant, powerful, and full? Wherever you’re at, whatever chapter you’re in brimming or not, process it. Define it. Reflect on what a rich life is to you:

  • Who are the people that bring you joy, laughter, and the ecstasy of being known?
  • How are you with those people? Do you let the bullshit roll off and choose love? Do you acknowledge them in the moment? Do you lean toward gratitude and speak it?
  • What small choices can you make that cost you hardly anything throughout the day? Like burying your face in the vase of the garden roses on your coffee table? Or picking up the poetry instead of picking up your phone?

Let it be so rich. Woman on xx

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