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August 4, 2011 / Man in the Mirror

Free Yourself: Live Like You Have Nothing to Lose

I have Janis Joplin to thank for teaching me (and Bobby McGee) that “freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” There’s nothing worse in life than loss, especially if we have a lot to lose. Life doesn’t get more sorrowfully mysterious than it does when we experience loss, and the hardest part of nothing left to lose lies in the loss of absolutely everything. Even the fear of loss has to go in order to be completely free.
The Universe Supports Us
Thank God for the cyclic movements of life to enlighten us and set us free. The waxing and waning of the moon, dead winter turning into spring, darkest nights becoming bright days – all remind us that some kind of mysterious transformation always takes place with every loss we know. At the darkest moment comes the light and at the bottom of the abyss we hear the voice of salvation. Regardless of how dead loss feels, new life lies hidden there. You can count on it.
The Healing Power of Loss
Healing from any loss comes slowly but surely, in its own and our best time, because a certain power to alter things dwells in the soul. We gradually regain consciousness, and in doing so begin to find everything that can’t be lost or taken away, like love. Peace becomes the gift of God as we come back to life. We may even begin to know more days than not that touch us with moments of joy. Pure joy is the surest sign of the freedom in having nothing left to lose.
Heaven on Earth
Living with nothing to lose is the closest we get to heaven on earth because we live with no fear of loss. We also soon discover one of life’s most joyful mysteries – ends and new beginnings running into each other like some kind of eternal life. With nothing to lose you are shown how to undo misery, deepen the experience of life, even live happily ever after.  And there’s no greater freedom to celebrate than that.
Until next week, think about this:  Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you. Jean-Paul Sartre
Karol Jackowski, Ph.D., became a nun in 1964. She’s also been a college administrator, graduate of New York University, manager of a toy store, author of eight books, painter of religious folk art, and sister to everyone she meets. Please visit her website at


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