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Lost and Found

By: John K. Graham, M.D.

 President and CEO of our partner Institute for Spirituality and Health reflects on our shared path forward in this pandemic

Department stores have a “lost and found” department. If we lose an item, we go there to find and identify it as our own. On occasion, the lost item might be our three-year-old child and we had to show proof of ownership to claim our "item". Usually, a heartfelt hug and tears was proof enough.

With the Coronavirus in the air and on every desk and table, we find ourselves locked at home and soon discover we have lost more than our freedom. We have lost family and friends, co-workers, and our favorite restaurant, gym, and theater. Even the doors of our place of worship are closed. We have lost so much that we had taken for granted.

But, what have we found? In the midst of loss, we are invited to explore the “lost and found” department of life. Surprisingly, in our quiet space we may become aware and know this can be the time to recover what was lost long before the virus struck.

The lost list is long. Things and people. Simple things, really. A game of chess or Monopoly, putting a puzzle together, looking at photo albums from our childhood and school days, our church, synagogue, mosque or temple. Flowers in our back yard. A bird feeder, empty. The bike hanging on the garage wall, unused. Members of our family we hardly know–our spouses and children.

Most of all, we lost ourselves. Our true Self. Who we truly are. In the haste of living, making money, and climbing the ladder at work, we left much behind and lost many of the things that give us true joy and pleasure.

Thankfully, lost things and lost people can be found. Alone, in our shuttered home, what we have lost can be recovered one by one. We must first identify and claim the lost item. We must tell the clerk that resides in our heart, “help me recover what I have lost.”

Our first task is recognition and then taking action to restore that which was lost. This may mean going to the closet to bring out the game of Scrabble or putting a puzzle together with our son or daughter. It may mean looking through an album of pictures together with our spouse and children, or reading a book, story, or sacred writing that long ago brought forth life and joy and tears—when we were much younger—and still alive, still seeking, still believing.

In the lost and found department of life, all this and more is found. Brought back by the memory of a time when simple things were the most important in life. They are recovered in a song, in a dance, or in a glance at the one you love. Yes, even a glance and smile can restore love. Love that was lost and now is found.

The lost and found department is not far away. It is found in your soul, where true meaning and joy are always found.

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