Anybody can be happy when things are going smoothly, you can pay your bills, in a secure relationship and your career is comfortable.
It isn’t until something really sideswipes us to such an amount that we have no choice but to deal with it. Something that causes us a lot of pain and upset. Something that knocks us on our butt to such a degree that we see no way out. We feel like giving up and just allowing the world to continue hitting us because nothing else matters any more.
In the summer of 91 I remember sitting on the steps of Truro Cathedral crying my hurt out. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon and here I was in front of waves of people at 17 crying so much I’m sure every shopper could hear. I was heart broken, I’d heard my relationship was over and it hurt! Pain like I’d never felt before. A real pain that nothing could fix. I remember sitting that evening in the kitchen saying that I would rather break both my arms and legs then feel this. Few months later I broke my neck, shit happens.
If you have a caring heart pain is going to happen, there is no avoiding it. Not you, me or the very wealthy can avoid emotional pain. Guess what, you are not in control. Difficult concept to grasp for many. I know, I tried to control things for a long time. You cannot avoid hurt by running from things you don’t like. Pleasure is the same, you cannot make everything the way you want it.
You simply cannot control events, people or circumstances. I know many who try and if you look deeper they are suffering even if they blame others for their suffering.
At some point we have to realise the event that brought the pain has gone and I’m guessing you haven’t got a time machine to change it.
Continuing to suffer is a completely different story. Suffering is a choice. Your choice. Yes, you can choose whether you want to suffer or not. When a child hurts themselves you do everything to move them on from the pain and relieve their suffering.
So here is the question. Have you suffered enough?
When you have eventually suffered enough you can then do something about it. You may feel you have suffered too much already, but have you really. If your not doing something about it then you clearly haven’t.
You might need new skills, grow new strengths or conjure up some courage beyond your current belief.
It’s not easy, when you have had your heart broken, become unemployed or lost somebody close. It becomes very hard to see your way through the current day let alone the near future. Stepping stones. Small stepping stones, is exactly what it takes.
It is one of the hardest things you will ever do.
There is a lot more to any recovery than a simple ‘get up and get on with it.’ That kind of recovery will bite you later. It will spring up sometime in the future if it is not dealt with and understood fully.
You need to grow. You need to arm yourself with the lessons of the painful emotions your feeling and then grow the courage, wisdom and character you need to become more emotionally intelligent. Which means you are able to allow the emotions to arise without suppressing them. You can then understand these emotions and do not have to be driven by them.
We spend so much of our time reacting to our painful emotions that we become blinded to the good feelings and emotions within. We react with anger, shame, guilt or disconnect without thinking.
Being emotionally intelligent is not about disconnecting and burying feelings until they are hidden deep where no one can get to them. They will return one day no matter how much you try to stop them. Surely it is better that we learn to allow the feelings to come and go while understanding the lessons of the pain. Then we can also enjoy the temporary fragile nature of pleasure too.
We often get so wrapped up in the pleasure that we forget to take time out to enjoy it. When joy has come and gone we immediately want it back. Remember, nothing is permanent. Which is great, because that means pain is temporary too.
Pain is going to happen, there is no avoiding it. Suffering is a different story.
Ask yourself this; have I suffered enough?
If you have, time to grow.
Here’s a couple posts that will help you along the way.
Updated for 2023