I used to get in trouble a lot when I was younger, not for anything malicious, just my own flavor of rule-breaking like talking too much or being generally disorganized with school work. Whether it was at home or at school I could always count on being in some sort of trouble. I realize now that a lot was going on emotionally but that is a story for another time. When the pain and punishment came around I learned to acquiesce. To keep my head down and push forward because people couldn’t be mad forever, and pain, though uncomfortable, would eventually go away. At least that’s what I believed as a kid. Head down and push through.
I didn’t realize for a long time that this strategy only works in the short term. That each time you keep your head down and push you lose a bit more of yourself along the way. Before long you don’t know what you are pushing towards or away from. It’s becomes so natural that even the slightest hint of trouble you are attempting to push it away because you’re not standing for anything, especially not yourself. It an easier way to live, I know, I’ve lived that way, but its certainly not better.
I’ve seen a lot of things in my life, and experienced many different triumphs and tragedies but what this experience has taught me is not to avert my eyes. That when turmoil strikes it’s better to be looking up at what’s happening than ducking away into the darkness and hoping that things turn out okay in the end.
When I started looking up in these moments of pain, I wouldn’t say that it go rid of the pain but it allowed me to work through it. To not lose myself along the way. That I felt a strength well up inside, strength of character and conviction, that began to suffused itself into my every day life.
It’s hard not to close your eyes and look away when bad things happen. It takes courage to realize you may have gotten things wrong and could do better. The only way we progress is to face our fears and work through them. It’s the harder route but the right one. You may not even know if you are doing the right thing in the moment but 9 times out of 10 by having that courage things will work out better for you.
I can tell you from experience that even though life still happens and that difficult thing still occur, because I learned to look up and see my problems instead of just keeping my head down things would get better. Life is a lot of work, anyone who tells you differently is trying to sell you something. This is one of those things I don’t have much to speak to, it’s simple to say but hard in practice, and you NEED practice.
Don’t avert your eyes, look up and face your problems. I promise if you do, you will begin to feel like you are living again.