“Until we stop ourselves, or more often have been stopped, we hope to put certain of life’s events “behind us” and get on with our living. After we stop we see that certain of life’s issues will be with us for as long as we live. We will pass through them again and again, each time with a new story, each time with a greater understanding, until they become indistinguishable from our blessings and our wisdom. It’s the way life teaches us how to live.” Rachel Naomi Remen, Kitchen Table Wisdom
So often, after a less than wonderful event or experience in our lives, we want to move past it, to “get over it.” But life isn’t like that. It’s not a weekly sit-com, where the episodes are completely disconnected from each other.
Just as pleasant, sweet happy memories change us, so do the darker times in our lives. We can’t just forget something that has caused us incredible sadness, fear or anger. We can’t walk away from something like that unchanged.
The difficulties arise when we try to get over something. When we try to forget the experience of losing someone we loved, we not only deprive ourselves of the opportunity to grieve and heal, but we also lose the opportunity to remember–to smile and laugh at the many wonderful memories. When we try to forget hurtful events that have happened in our lives, we no longer are able to learn the lessons that these events have to offer.
We lose out on all of these things, but we still are unable to truly put the events behind us. We bury them, but they are still there. We find ourselves avoiding “triggers” that will remind us of a loved one whom we have lost. We find that we are no longer able to trust, after we’ve been hurt. We find that we’re overly fearful of things, based on past experiences. In more ways than we can count, the past we’ve tried to forget will affect us, will remain a part of our lives.
There really in nothing else to do, but accept it. Accept it, deal with it, look it in the eye, and learn the lessons it has to offer. Because it’s not going to un-happen.
From the loved ones I’ve lost, I’ve learned that life is full of randomness, and that we shouldn’t take a single minute for granted. I’ve learned that they will always be a part of my life, and that I will always miss them.
From the awful car accident I was in when I was pregnant, I learned about the kindness of strangers, and the responsibility that I have to pay it forward.
From Kendra, only time will tell. She’s come back, in my mind, many, many times. And each time carries a new lesson. She is not “indistinguishable from my blessings and wisdom” yet, but I have no doubt that one day, over the years, she will be.