Life will sometimes throw a curve ball at you and you will get hurt. I am not referring to physical pain; (although that does happen sometimes) I am referring to emotional pain. The kind of pain that comes from a breakup or a divorce, the loss of a loved one, or even the guilt of doing something you perceive as bad or hurtful to someone you care about or even yourself. I am also referring to the type of pain that is self-inflicted when you refuse to accept something about yourself that you perceive as a negative trait.
Time is supposed to heal all of those pains, at least that’s what the general consensus is. You just have to hang on until the pain goes away. However, the pain doesn’t always go away. Sometimes, it just lingers, like a low hum in the background. You are always aware of it and can sometimes block it out, and other times it is so overwhelming that you have to turn up your music super loud to drown out the hum. Time is obviously not healing that pain. So what do you do?
You have to accept the pain to lessen the pain. The reason that the pain lingers, even years later, is that you haven’t really accepted the pain. You are still trying to fight back against the situation because it is not what you want. No one wants to accept that the relationship is over, or that the loved one is really gone, or that they are not a skinny, size zero hip girl. None of those sounds great to me either. I have personally dealt with every one of those scenarios and they are all horrible on their own. Some of them I still deal with in ways I had no clue about until something random triggers an emotional response. When that happens, I have to stop the response, (which isn’t easy) and step back for a moment and analyze the situation. I have to ask myself a series of questions about why I am reacting the way that I am. It usually ends up that I am reacting out of fear that I will lose something or someone and there is nothing I can do about it.
It’s at that point that I have to remind myself that there is nothing I can say or do that will keep a person with me, or change the fact that I lost a loved one, or that if I want to fit into a size smaller jeans, it won’t happen right at the moment I want it to. I have to accept that those things happened. I also have to accept that at any moment, any one thing could happen in the future. I potentially could get into a car accident and have my arm amputated due to the crash. I have a choice about how I react to that. I can both accept it and be happy for what I have, or I can fight that fact and wish I had my arm back. If I focus on the fact that I am missing an arm then it is just going to be an ongoing pain. I will be miserable, unhappy, and never feel “normal” again. I would rather be happy I am still alive.
It’s a difficult scenario and not one that I could easily hop into acceptance of. However, I would because I know that there is no way I can replace that arm, or go back in time and not get into the car that day. If I come from a place of self-acceptance instead of self-denial then I stand a better chance of getting past the event and living a happy life. Bad things happen to everyone, none of us is immune. We either accept it and move on, or live in the pain and let it affect the rest of our lives.