“This was a loss. And with that I remembered the words of my mother
‘Yes Vanessa, this is what makes life rich’
With that thought I sat back on my bed and closed my eyes and just let it hurt. I didn’t resist the pain like I had in the agony of labor with my children, I didn’t try and reason it away, I didn’t seek an anaesthetic, I just let it be as hurtful as hurt is and let it pain me.
I cried and cried and cried and cried.
I called my mother, I cried to her. I called my friend, I cried to him. I threw words at God, I said ‘no’ one hundred times and you know what? It didn’t feel better because of any of it, it just kept right on hurting.
And that’s ok.
It hurts? Let it hurt. What you are going through can be understood perfectly by nobody, so let it hurt. Hurt is supposed to weaken your neck so that your head throws backwards. It is supposed to make a physical ache in your heart.
Hurt was named perfectly. Loss too.
It will hurt. You will at times, lose.
Let it be so.
As you let pain be painful, it is vital you understand that pain is not a symptom of ‘life going wrong’
Rain is weather just as sun, pain is life, just as joy is life.
I will tell you though, that there is a way that life can not just be life, but be wrong and that is when a person, looking about the world and the pains of it, concludes that life is cruel and that life thus far has gone wrong, takes it personally and then with the mentality of a victim proceeds to sabotage the remainder of it. Life can be as true to its word as it possibly can and deliver days of drought, flood, gain, loss, night and day but it cannot destroy you. The only thing in the universe that can destroy you is you.
Even after the body dies a single human being can live on forever in the legacy they left, the memories their face and works appear in and the hope they stand for due to their courage, endurance, perseverance and achievements.
Consider Nelson Mandella. An anti-apartheid activist, revolutionary and politician he was born July 18th, 1918.
When will he die? Well, I don’t believe he ever will.
His life has become as a light upon a high mountain that gives hope to not just liberated people of color, but to people of all races across all generations and probably, for many generations to come. But his life! The persecution!
27 years spent as prisoner 46664.
I have seen the place of his capture in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and it was a powerful thing to consider that this one man has known loss of many kinds and not only endured it, but used it.
He understood that no man could take from you that which you do not give away. Life is never stolen, not truly. Life is only ultimately taken when it is surrendered. I know this is true because despite what agonies I have faced and crimes I have endured the only time any of it threatened to destroy me is when I momentarily believed it was too much and planned to take my own life.
I have heard many times the testimonies of survivors of violent crime, sexual crime, or abuse and the common statement they all make is ‘They took from me this, but I refused to let them rob me of life or joy or enjoying the remainder of a fulfilling life’
I marvel at this. I marvel at it because had the strength for them to do this was simply not found by them when they needed it, would you not understand? Who would not understand a mother, so driven by grief for her lost child simply give up the life of her own? Who would not understand how 27 years of jail and persecution would break a man.
If Mandela had endured for 20 years and then thrown his arms up, broken spirited and said ‘I cannot do this anymore! I am a broken man!’ would the world not understand? Of course! And there lies the key to living forever. To see life as life is: painful, rewarding, harsh, fair, wonderful, devastating.
To face circumstances to which no one would ever accuse you should you simply not be able to endure, and yet, you endure. To face a storm so fierce that no one should turn on you because the winds kept you down, and yet you rise.
To understand that when things are hard, when you are hurting, when you have lost, that it is not that something has gone tragically wrong with life… it IS life! It only goes tragically wrong when you fail to grasp this and in your grief you then surrender to it and either sabotage your future or become dysfunctional and sabotage the life of another.
Though the disappointment of not being able to graduate this year may be considered by some to be rather small in the scheme of pain or loss, I would suggest that loss is loss. Heartbreak is heartbreak. For me in this moment, considering the work I have put in, the longing I have for this dream and the reality of the dream coming true being so close, the sudden realization that it was for a time, gone is devastating.
I do not look at this pain and the pain of say, the abuse in my past and see one different from the other. It hurts and hurt is hurt.
But I am ok with hurt now. I have changed my view of it. The 8 words spoken by my mother so many years ago have sat in my mind and developed in my late night thoughts for so long that I feel like I truly understand now how she could possibly suggest that loss and pain join hands with gain and enjoyment to make life rich.
I look back on my 28 years and I see the landscape of a very rich life. There are mountains, which capture the sunlight, there are valleys which are darker and sit in the shade of those mountains. There are empty roads which wind long and dusty, there are fields of grain and produce.
This is a beautiful picture but it is the darker valleys and lonely dusty roads which are just as beautiful as the sunlit mountains.
My life I believe has been, and is still, very rich.
I say that not in spite of life that at times was agony, but because of a life that at times was agony.
I am still in deep grief over the delay on my dream to be a nurse, I still wear the fading scars from nights I nearly didn’t survive as a teen and tomorrow I may receive news which will break my heart and if not tomorrow then this news will ultimately come in some form or another but this too, is ok.
You may be grieving hard for the loss of a friend, the betrayal of a lover, the ruin of a dream or the pain of deep disappointment. You don’t have to square your shoulders and it doesn’t have to be ok with you.
Let it hurt.
Let the experience of this disappointment sink into you. If it overwhelms you, it will overwhelm you. You don’t have to be brave today. Explore this grief and get to know this pain. Embrace it.
But then, survive it.
If you can do this and resist bitterness then you will one day look back on these moments and see a beautiful landscape that is only a work of art because of this pain.
Wherever you are in it right in this moment, whether in a paradise or in a barren, empty land, this is life, and this experience you are facing whether good or bad, hurtful of joyful is what makes life rich.”
lees gerus ook wat sy vertel oor haar eie ervaring van pyn. http://onethousandsingledays.com/2012/09/23/qualification-pain/
Ja, regtigwaar, ne. Jy kan gerus vanhaar ander blogs gaan lees – ‘n besondere mens. Sy is van Nieu Zeeland