Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Next Worst Thing

I hope this thing you're going through, that's so awful that you can't eat and you can't sleep and sometimes you can't even breathe - I really do hope this thing is the worst thing you'll ever go through.

You will experience trauma. You will experience loss. You will grieve. You will scream into your pillow. You will sob. You will fight it with every cell in your body, this worst thing. You will hold so tightly to your hopes and fears that you will sometimes become them and forget who you are.

People will try to distract you. You'll love them for it and you'll hate them for it. Maybe you feel like you deserve this worst thing, like you did something to earn it and this worst thing is your punishment. You will feel guilt and shame.

You'll read about forgiveness and not really understand it, maybe for a long time. You'll hold onto that guilt and shame, and it'll get so jumbled up with your hopes and fears that you won't even know which is which and who you are anymore. The guilt and shame (and even the pride) will keep you in the past, and the hopes and fears will distract you with the future, and you'll miss out on the present: The gift that is this very moment, where you are right now, in this body and this breath. Right now is who you are.

From this worst thing you'll emerge, eventually, it happens, I promise. Maybe you'll start to feel better, a little bit at a time, and then you'll remember this worst thing and feel sad and angry and hopeless again. Maybe you'll feel like you don't deserve to feel better. Maybe the times of feeling better will get a little bit longer, and the sadness a little bit less acute. Allow yourself that. Let it be a project.

And maybe, first in just one moment and then in a few of these moments strung together, you will start to wrap your head around this whole forgiveness thing. You will start to accept that we're all a bunch of human beings (yes, even you), and that we all make mistakes (yes, even you). You will start to trust. You will start to allow forgiveness.

I hope it's the worst thing you'll ever go through, this thing that you're going through right now.

The thing about this thing is, it probably isn't the worst thing. There was a worst thing before this one and there will be a worst thing that follows.

And every time you get through a worst thing, you'll be a little bit better at getting through the next worst thing. At accepting it, and forgiving it.

 It's a long, messy, wonderful life, full of next worst things. Fortunately, it's full of next best things, too.

1 comment:

kajal said...

53this is so meaningful, real, and well put/written.