Hurricane Florence is now a past experience. Even with the cleanup and rebuilding required from the damage that was left behind, she is gone. Those affected are left to deal with the damage.
Watching the rain and wind this weekend, I thought about what AFTER the storm would mean. What would Florence leave besides debris? How that debris signifies more than physical damage and that the pain attached to it will linger long after physical environments are restored.
This started me thinking about the storms we weather in our daily lives. How much debris still exists and how do we return “return to normal” after the storms have passed? Why can’t we just forget painful experiences and be as fresh as the paint on the walls of a restored home?
My first thought was, “I wish my heart had amnesia.” If my heart had amnesia, it would not remember the hurt and pain it endured. When the pain ceased to exist, so would have the aftermath of pain’s destruction.
If it were this easy, when the life experiences I longed for appeared, past pain would have ethereally transformed into beautiful memories instead of ruins of emotion.
Instead, I remain torn, mentally stuck shoveling and toting the debris of past storms between two worlds. Worlds of acceptance perceived by living within a world of joy and a world of skepticism.
The world of skepticism is filled with would have’s, could have’s, should have’s and why me’s combined with wishes that the painful experiences never existed, because they taint the ideal of the desired experience with fear and doubt. Fear, that the desired experience does not really exist, for me and doubt, that even if it does appear, it is only a matter of time before the negative emotions of the previous experience of it will reappear.
The world of joy contains all the peace ever hoped for and comforts one could have only dreamed. It’s a new reality that even as wonderful as it is, is always negotiating its rightful place in the presence its own existence. We internally battle to immerse ourselves in the magnificence of the world of joy while being, sometimes unconsciously, responsible for taking up mental residence in the world of skepticism.
This tug o’ war lends the victory to the greater of our present emotion irrespective of where we physically stand. For example, a great love experience hurts when partnered with the feeling of pain. When the feeling is equivalent to what was, the past remains the present; the storm never clears.
A horrible love experience can feel remarkable when connected to the emotion of hope and anticipation of something better. In the midst of this storm, we “hold on.”
The worlds blend as thoughts and energy that permeate from within us do not align. It confuses and angers us that we can match the two with the wonder of now. As much as we desire, it is difficult to let go of the pain. There is security in it. A knowing of what to look for as not to experience it again. It’s a difficult concept, but pain is not to be forgotten. It should be viewed as an investment because the return on that investment is joy.
Even so, it’s work to see pain as an asset and honestly, I am exhausted with aiming to check that box. The more I achieve, it seems there are more storms to endure..
For now, my worlds continue to mix, and it frustrates me because I just want to “get over it,” even knowing it’s not that easy and that “getting over it” is not the purpose of pain in my life.
Time, with awareness is helping me to stay secure in the eye of the storm and maintain of my world of joy. Self awareness will continue help make this better, easier I know. I also know I will continue make futile wishes that I did not have to bear this journey and could exist in the allure of now, without memory of the past.
Spiritually, I understand that is not the path to self-realization. To just forget each moment as we transition to the next is not why we are here. Even as I continue to wish my heart had amnesia, I know if it did, I could not grasp the beauty of what I experience now.
Without the pain of what I experienced in the past, now would not have such meaning, impact and joy. If the pain stops, there is no opposite, no comparison, no triumph. Emotionally, this is where the conflict will always live. So, how should I handle storms of pain?
I must wish my heart to have all the experiences it needs and learn to embrace, not dwell too long in them. I must learn I have experienced the pain, knowing I could count it all to joy, for that is where it has always led me.
Sometimes, more than others, it is increasingly difficult to really know AND live this, but what I choose does not alter immutable truth; we are not designed to have pain without joy or vice versa.
Our lesson is to believe this as we experience and grow through our time in each. The lesson in the pain, reveals the blessing in the joy. I only know this, because my heart has not forgotten.
Have you ever wished you could forget it all? Start anew? What would you gain by starting over and what would you lose? Finally, how have you invested in pain and received joy?
Until next time.
Blessings and Love,