For the most part I am a strong man. I can keep going through just about anything, but just because I don’t stop does not mean I am not in pain. Many people mistake that ability to keep moving forward as some sort of gift when it’s only a survival skill I learned long ago.
Pain is a relatively objective, physical phenomenon; suffering is our psychological resistance to what happens. Events may create physical pain, but they do not in themselves create suffering. Resistance creates suffering. Stress happens when your mind resists what is… The only problem in your life is your mind’s resistance to life as it unfolds. Dan Millman
About many hurts of the past I am able to let go (mostly anyway) by continuing to move forward and not allowing that pain to drag me down. Then there are those slivers of grief and sadness I don’t let go of. The majority are related to women I have loved and better said, those I have never completely let go of and still carry a flame for. James Frey wrote, “The wounds that never heal can only be mourned alone.” How true!
There are songs that come on the radio that cause me to change station within a few seconds. The words pull me back to another time.
On other occasions it is places that bring up old hurts. A ‘favorite’ restaurant can do it (so I don’t eat there any more).
Driving down a particular road can take me back (so I avoid going that way).
Overhearing a casual conversation of a couple obviously in love can make me start to pine momentarily for what once was or what I hoped would be that never came.
While I know movies are not real life, there are certain ones that come close to my experiences and can wake up my sleeping past. For some reason, I will still watch such a movie to remember (must be a masochist streak in me).
“We are healed of a suffering only by experiencing it to the full” was Marcel Proust’s take on hanging on to the past. Maybe I have not grieved enough over some of the past. However, as I type those words I suddenly realize those little pains are still alive in me because I hang on to them intentionally like a cherished gift. Without a doubt some of my grasp on pieces of the past is because I don’t want to let go. It’s as if ‘what was’ is still alive in some small way as long as I hold on.
Maybe I need to adopt Rachel Naomi Remen’s attitude, “Perhaps wisdom is simply a matter of waiting, and healing a question of time. And anything good you’ve ever been given is yours forever”. Seems given time there may yet be a way for me to keep a few memories without them hurting me. I am grateful for all that I have experienced; for each happening that helped to shape me into the person I am today.
Scars are but evidence of life…
Evidence of choices to be learned from…
evidence of wounds…
wounds inflicted of mistakes…
wounds we choose to allow the healing of.
We likewise choose to see them,
that we may not make the same mistakes again.
Marcia Lynn McClure