By Emily George
Sometimes life isn’t what we expect it to be.
It isn’t what it should be. Bad things happen even when not deserved. How do we reconcile this with living a full and happy life, especially when what has happened to us is beyond forgiveness and comprehension?
This question has been on my mind for years. While my life has been filled with beauty and love, it has also been filled with pain and suffering. I have asked “why me?” so many times and I have not found an answer, and I may never find the answer. Every experience I have had has shaped me; this is my reality.
I have been fighting my reality for so long and it has resulted in even more distress. What happened to me should never happen to anyone.
It wasn’t fair, but it happened.
I cannot change it.
A few months ago I was presented with the concept of radical acceptance. To accept reality for what it is completely, and not what you expect it to be. I found this extremely confounding. If I accept what has happened to me, am I giving up the fight I have been battling my whole life?
Am I saying what happened to me was okay?
I had a bit of an awakening recently. I do not have to condone something to accept that it is a part of my reality, a part of me, a part of life and a part of the human experience. My past has been dictating my life for so long. I have let the people who hurt me take away so much good and love that could have been experienced.
Life is a river with strong currents. When we paddle against them we make life infinitely more difficult, but if we drop the paddles and trust the current to take us where we need to be, our pain and suffering will lessen and we can stop merely surviving and live again.
As soon as this realization set in the symptoms I have from PTSD began to decrease, and in some cases, disappeared. I haven’t had any nightmares since. I cannot remember the last time I was free from them.
Someone once told me you have to get through the bad to discover the good.
Months of therapy has dredged up so much for me and for a while things got worse, but I have made it to the other side.
I feel I can breathe again. I feel I can live again, love again, and trust again. I do not think that I will never encounter negative experiences again, but when they come I will accept them as part of my journey in this life.
The sun is rising on my world, and I am soaking in the sunlight.
Editor: Ty H Phillips