Some weeks are more difficult than others. The old adage it doesn't rain it pours springs to mind. It certainly has been a week of note for me. Kyle off kilter most of the week. Fender bender, car broken into and of course the ability of certain people to cut deeply when it is least expected. A post sitting in drafts talks about one of those incidents in all its 'horror' but now is not the time to publish it. And this may not be the forum for it either. Time will tell.
As part of the self work I've been doing one of the exercises was to develop a mantra for ourselves. For me this was very interesting. It is so easy to rattle off all the really positive mantras which is what a lot of people did and I can understand that need to always be positive and try and put the negatives behind us. For me however it didn't work out that way and in part in particular due to how this week turned out.
By the actions of 2 particular individuals in my life, people with whom I share deep connections, I was cut more deeply this week then I have for a very long time. It was expected and unexpected in equal measure. At the back of my mind is the knowledge that this is behaviour I can expect from both of them. Doesn't make it any easier to deal with or make it hurt any less.
So that brought me around to my mantra...
Pain is inevitable
Suffering is optional
We all want to deny pain. We don't want to acknowledge that those we love have the power to cause the deepest hurt. So we sweep it under the rug and try and forget it exists. We patch it up and pretend it didn't happen. We forgive quickly and move on and try and deny the pain. But we can't and I believe we shouldn't.
We should embrace that pain. Let it wash through us. Feel it. Taste it. Acknowledge it. Be brave enough to say yes it hurts and it hurts like hell. Let ourselves catch our breath on the pain... you know just like that moment when you hit your toe on the corner of the chair and you literally stop breathing for a couple of seconds.
Because pain is inevitable.
You will hurt, physically and emotionally, many many times in your life. People in your life will hurt you, intentionally or unintentionally. You will at some point have to deal with the death of a loved one. The death of a beloved pet. Divorce. Moving from a much loved home. Watching your kids grow up and move out and on with their lives. The end of friendships and relationships. Pain comes in all shapes and sizes and is as inevitable as death and taxes...
How you deal with it is the key... and that is where the suffering is optional.
You can wallow in the pain. Rage against those who hurt you. Play the victim. Be miserable. Suffer in silence but make it clear to all of those around you that you, the victim, are suffering. Plot your revenge. Never move past the anger stage of grief. What you are doing is an injustice to yourself. And really not benefiting you or anyone else around you. You handing the power to the pain.
Back to the toe and the chair... are you going to kick the chair in frustration every time you walk past it because it hurt you the first time? You will just keep feeling the pain. You need to see that you are the one who suffers and you are the only one who can control your suffering. The chair really doesn't get hurt by your actions.
So while it is very hard to let go, be the bigger person, really forgive and move on, ultimately that is what you need to do in order to heal. Yes we all need time to grieve and don't stop that process - it is healthy and necessary. But realise that it will not and cannot last forever. Life is for the living and you really do only get one chance at it. So live it with the understanding that you will always be subject to pain at some point, but the choice to suffer is optional and the level of suffering is only up to you.