It’s easy to get down. We have a right to our pain. When you fall on your ass, it hurts. When people die, it changes everything. Sometimes, you’ve got to sit on the sidelines and take care of yourself.
Recently, I’ve advocated for owning the pain as strongly as I took on positive thinking in the 80s. I came to conclude all that optimism had me skating on thin ice.
The Ice (my deceased boyfriend’s nickname for me) broke. What shattered was my illusion the pain had no value.
The juice of a coconut is found inside that hard shell, under the meat of it. That’s where the juice of life hides, behind our hard, human shell of self-protection. I drink the juice of life and I’m restored.
However, beyond all my metaphorical bullshit is a tipping point, transformation, even metamorphosis. The point of sitting with our pain is so we can learn the lessons it offers. Grief can bring wisdom and growth.
Or, we can get stuck in the pain and end up being a victim. That’s where we stop believing. It doesn’t matter if before our fall our faith was in God or our badass ability to make shit happen.
When our foundation falls out, our faith waivers and we yearn for the hope that once shown from our own eyes.
So, we’ve got to stir it up, call it up, demand it from the depths of our soul—something, anything! I must remind myself of my strength.
Like a muscle gone flabby, hope needs to be worked. So do our imaginations.
Until faith takes shape again, we can imagine things will get better. We try taking little bites of truth about how others had it hard, too and overcame.
Oh, we think no one has had it as bad as us?! If only that were true, we could pick up our victim license and drive in the poor-me lane for life. We seem to like it, but we don’t.
I know I’m being harsh. This is the challenge to myself as life holds a giant mirror before me and shows me all that’s going on around me.
Flexing our compassion muscles rather than repeating victim chants can do wonders.
Are you still with me? If you’re early in your grief, please disregard my loud words. There’s a time for everything. The first chapter is fetal position.
If you’re there, I send you love and the healing comfort of angels.
But, I’m on that place in my path that’s calling me to decide my philosophy of life. For me, it’s time to choose.
Yeah, I got dealt a bad hand, a raw deal, and it’s unfair that my beloved died just as we began soaring in our relationship.
We’ve all heard it: life’s not fair. Nobody should have to lose a kid or a husband or have cancer or PTSD after serving or get hit by a car and die crossing the street on the way to work at 6 a.m.
Life’s not fair. Women shouldn’t be raped. Nobody should be robbed at gunpoint for her cellphone. Life sucks and people die.
Or, sometimes they don’t. They live in comas or come out as different people or have strokes, left with the only words, “Tee. Tah. Toe.”
Babies die before they’re born or they’re born… beautiful, often.
Isn’t a new baby a beautiful reminder of innocence and hope? Let’s find hope. In a child’s eyes. Or a lover’s. And when we have none, can we wrap our arms around ourselves and enjoy a moment? Just one?
Let’s not punish ourselves by becoming victims. How long can we sing our sad songs? There’s beauty in it, sure. But, there are a thousand songs to sing. Can you remember a happy one? (I ask myself.)
It’s easy to get down and there are plenty of majorly fucked up difficult challenges to overcome.
But, the saddest thing I’ve ever seen is a woman who was once a warrior wearing a name tag that reads “Poor me” holding hands with a man whose brow announces, “No options.”
Victims like that make me want to get back to the 80s. I’m not saying it’s easy and affirming “I’m happy” when you’re heartbroken is ridiculous.
Pain is real. Life can horse kick. When we’re down, we’ve got to decide that somehow, some way, we’re going to get up. I’m rooting for us, you and me.
There are more chapters in life. This may be the worst one.
Let’s fight to find our faith again. I’m believing in others who are in the midst of their struggle, like all the lovely beings—human and beyond—have done for me. Let’s not give up now.