When Life Hurts

Many friends and relatives are up in arms. A family friend is about to lose the house he built with his own hands because of an extended illness and his insurance running out. A mother I know is in an uphill battle for custody of her children. A sister of one of my clients fell off her horse and injured the donated kidney that keeps her alive. A friend of a family member was killed in a freak accident.

How can one live fully in the moment when the moments are so painful? What I am about to say is not advice cast from my easy chair. I am closely connected to these people in the throes of real devastation. There is no easy answer, but the sure answer is to stay committed to Life as it is (not how we want or think is right and deserving) and committed to what you know is true. I think every survivor has had to get this lest unrelenting anger or utter despair take over.

The Talmud says, “Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Walk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.”

Living fully does not always mean to throw yourself into it. It does mean resolve and commitment. And when the experience of life devastates us, there is only one thing to do. Withdraw temporarily to catch your breath, review your perspective and to plan creatively. It doesn’t seem like much at the time, but it certainly does not honor life to put your hand in the flame. It does honor life to take charge with renewed interest at an emotional distance. You may need to accept help. Just make sure that the help stays true to Life as it is (not as you wish it to be) and to what you know is true.

Things change. They always change. And opportunities will come, but only if we stay aware.

Want to read more on this? Click for more: Part 2. Part 3. Part 4.

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