If life were just an upward trajectory, there would be nothing for us to learn along the way. We often avoid conflict not only with ourselves but with the outer world in hopes of maintaining a sense of peace. While this often can work for a period of time, life does not discriminate against any human. A few years ago, I suffered a devastating loss that I thought I would never recover from emotionally or financially. I had spent years climbing to achieve my perfect sense of reality and in what felt like a brief moment, the rug was pulled from underneath me. I had lost a fortune.
Young and reckless
I was a day trader. I was young, dumb, and had way too much money on my hands. I had turned a small amount of money into a small fortune. It was enough for me to retire and yet, it just didn’t feel like enough.
In my mind, I had imagined when I got to that point that I would be sitting on a beach sipping on a tasty beverage but here I was, staring at a computer screen without sleep for the past seven days. I didn’t make my fortune by being intelligent, I made it by pure blind luck. I had gambled my way into retirement but retirement wasn’t my goal. I wanted to buy planes and boats, I wanted to feel secure not just in the moment for the rest of my life.
Security is a state of mind. Unfortunately, I had to learn this lesson a bit too late. I wasn’t aware at the time that I was struck by blind luck, I had thought it was my genius that got me into this position. My ego did not let me see it in any other way, I had ruined friendships and alienated family. It didn’t matter to me though, at the time, I thought in the end if I had just made even more money then I would try to mend all the wounds that I had created along the way.
Day of reckoning
I had been a fairly spiritual person up until this point in my life but I got sidetracked. The lifestyle appeal, the constant adrenaline, I was legitimately addicted. They say things happen for a reason and I cannot say if this is the ultimate truth, but what was about to happen was something I’ll never forget. There I was, in a massive position against the market. I was a genius, how could this go wrong?
Well, it went very wrong. When you don’t sleep for a week straight, you start losing your mental capabilities. You no longer are capable of logical thought, I had begun my descent into paranoia.
“How can this be happening to me?” I said staring at my position getting close to being taken over by the exchange and losing my capital in the process.
My “genius” had run out and I was about to face reality.
Then it happened, my position was taken over and I was liquidated. I had lost the majority of my fortune, it was almost a sense of relief but at that moment I was faced with myself and how miserable I had been for the past few years. I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t doing anything to help anyone. I had trampled over friends and family to get to where I was.
And for what? Some dollars in the bank that I didn’t even use? For a sense of security that isn’t even real?
Picking up the pieces
I had only one person to call, it was my dad. My family was increasingly agitated by me. I had become more and more egotistical over time and in my mind, it just didn’t compute why everyone was so conflicted with me. It made sense looking back, why I had become like that. It just really hurt at that moment when I had to call my dad and apologize and tell him how miserable I was and the pain I was experiencing.
I needed him, he was there for me. I let it all out, all my frustrations and anger. How miserable I was and how I knew I was making a mistake with my life.
It was like my spiritual side had been tugging at me for so long to get away from all of this that it was almost like it was self-needed sabotage. I had to get out of this situation or else I would be stuck in a vicious cycle of negativity for the rest of my life.
Realizing my destiny
I had known it but I didn’t want to accept it. I knew deep down inside that I had the ability to help people and this devastating loss was sent to me as a gift. The massive amount of pain that I experienced was me letting go of my old self. Letting go of who you thought you were is an incredibly painful experience and it is necessary for spiritual growth.
Learning from your conflicts in life is where you make the most growth, it’s how you learn about yourself and the world. The best lessons are always the hardest to take in. I had a chance to reconnect with my family and realize what was truly important. It wasn’t the money in the bank, it was the connections you have in life with yourself, friends, and family.
It dawned on me after a while that I wasn’t feeling secure because I was chasing a dark hole of materialism and the universe decided to put a quick end to that. I am so very thankful for this experience as now I am in line with my life’s purpose – to help people grow spiritually and find themselves as I have.
If you are experiencing a devastating loss/conflict, try to find the lesson inside of it. I can agree that at times life doesn’t seem fair but there is always something for us to take away and deepen our connection with ourselves. Do you know what’s funny about this whole experience? I feel much better than when I was wealthy compared to now where I am much less well off. The inner peace you can find inside yourself is endless.