What if your life changed in a mere second?
Or in just a few precious minutes?
What if much of the life you knew was gone? How would you look at yourself? Would you blame someone or something? Would you blame yourself? Would you hide from the world? Would you hate yourself? Would you hate everyone else you perceive as perfectly fine or happy? Would you dwell in envy? Would you dwell in misery? Could you be gentle with yourself? Would you give up on yourself? Might you get tired of hearing that you’re going to be fine? Would you stop believing this advice? Where would that leave you? What is fine? How would you define yourself or self-worth? Do you ever need to define yourself? Or define your self-worth? Who are you now? Are you still you? Will people love you less?
A lot of questions, I know. Most have gone through my mind at some point. In fact, no doubt through many of our minds. They could apply to numerous humans, for so many reasons. Life throws a lot of shit at us, in general. And some, it seems, get more than others.
It makes me think about these David Bowie lyrics:
Turn and face the strange
Just gonna have to be a different man
Time may change me
But I can’t trace time
Change is inevitable; many people say it’s the one constant. Sudden change can really throw a person for a loop. With it comes a lot of questions. These ones above might be some of them, maybe not. Your questions might be different.
Everyone will answer them differently anyway. Everyone copes differently.
But, “Why did the happen to me?” is common. Try not to beat yourself up if you’ve ever asked it. And know that you’re not alone in asking it.
Turn and face the strange
Bowie has put it quite poetically; we turn and must face what is strange to us, what is new to us. Maybe it’s something we could never have imagined. Maybe it’s one of our worst nightmares come true. Whatever it is, whatever the case may be…things have ch-ch-ch-ch-changed.
You can only close your eyes for so long. You can only hide from the world, your world, for a while. At least I hope that’s the case for you, as it is for me.
Sometimes, I do simply need to hide out; regroup and recharge. Maybe some of these questions come up as I look inward, but not always. Overall, I am at heart a happy person. I just don’t know how I couldn’t be, there’s too much that I love in my life.
But…I am human, just like you. I get tripped up. I make mistakes. Just like that stranger who was having a bad day, and couldn’t muster a smile when you held the door for him. Or that teenager who was so upset that she might have bombed her Chem. test, that she forgot to thank her mother for finding the exact shade of blue sweater that she’d been needing for her new outfit.
It’s kind of like in Forrest Gump, when Forrest is running and a guy says to him something to the effect of,
“Hey, you just stepped in dog shit”
And Forrest says, “It happens.”
Then the guy replies, “What…shit?”
Forrest says, “Sometimes”, and supposedly a phrase is coined (or in this case a famous bumper sticker). And I know that word is offensive to some people and I’m sorry, but It does happen sometimes! Just this morning my husband ran down into our basement hurrying to grab the crossword we’d been working on, then I yelled for him to also grab two kinds of juice, too, if he could…
When he got back with the puzzle for us to keep working on while he ate his breakfast and before he left for work, he had an odd look on his face. I returned a quizzical look back and he held up the newspaper, covered in spilled water from the glass he was also carrying…I’d left it down there last night and he had tried to bring it up, in addition to the two large bottles of juice, just because he’s that kind of guy…and voilà!
C’est la vie?
For a few seconds, in my very first thoughts, I was like , “Oh man…why did you bother?”, but then it was just not a big deal. Had he tripped and fallen and gotten hurt, now that would have been a bigger deal. I realize this was a really minor example of letting go, but really, we ended up just laughing about it…because, “It happens”, including the crappy-yet-banal things, to everyone, and so many things are beyond our control.
As far as that goes we must attempt to give up on controlling everything, and trust me when I say I relate to this one. If you do tend to be described (even self-described) as a control freak you may be wasting precious energy that could really help you elsewhere.
“By letting it go it all gets done. The world is won by those who let it go. But when you try and try. The world is beyond winning.”
— Lao Tzu
A lot of the time, it’s really all about connection, or lack of it. Often, if we’re feeling disconnected, we end up mired in what we fear regarding our current situation. As in, if we were to give answers to the above questions when we’re feeling adrift, you can bet that will affect our outlook.
We can take some alone time and connect with our own selves. I think I mentioned that already. Other times we will need to reach out for help, a support system is crucial. We can also turn to nature…seriously take off your shoes and ground yourself by walking barefoot on the earth. [amazing article, click here]
Can you relate to any of those big questions? Remember we’re all dealing with life’s everyday problems plus whatever else gets tacked on…we need to try to not be too hard on ourselves, and or each other.
It has been said that no pain is forever. This is a difficult concept to embrace when it’s in full swing. Another is the idea that with time all of our wounds will heal. It’s something that we can work toward, or at least move toward, even if the only solution is acceptance.
— Raina K Morton September 2014
*Title from a Jack Johnson song called, yep you guessed it… Questions.