It seems simplistic to say that life is often like the children’s song, “Going on a Bear Hunt.” But like many things, I guess, we learned as children, it’s become a solid truth in adulthood.
With life comes much joy. We drink it up. We hold it tight.
With life comes much pain. We want to avoid it. We shrink away from it. We try to numb it in any number of ways. But the reality is, we have to go through it. Even when we know what we have to do, we run from the pain. It doesn’t work, though.
There’s no way over it. There’s no way under it. No way around it. I’ve watched people numb the pain. Avoid dealing with it. What happens is, they get stuck. No matter how you numb yourself, at some point, you’ll start to feel again. Then you have to decide whether you’re going to numb yourself again, or deal with the pain. Those that keep it numb are just spinning their wheels. They never fully go through it, so they can never get to the other side. Years can pass. A lifetime can pass. And still, there they are, trapped in a bubble of agony while the world goes on without them.
It’s scary to face it. I know it is. Standing in the void, peering into a dark, empty place. Unsure if there might be sun on the other side. Unsure if it’s worth it to try to find out.
The ground is tilted. Your soul is crooked. It seems like pushing through the darkness will be too much. It might be safer to remain in the void, with your crooked soul and tilted earth. You know how to exist there. It might be cold and lonely, but you’ve gotten used to it. Reaching for a light you aren’t sure will be there is a gamble.
What if you get all the way through and find it isn’t there? Then what?
Facing the darkness, facing the pain, will be worth it. It will hurt, and it’s normal to want to run from that. But refusing to deal with it keeps the wound open. It can’t heal until it’s dealt with head on.
You can do this. Brace up. Stare into the inky blackness. Know you are worth finding the sun again.
Can’t go over it. Can’t go under it. Can’t go around it.
Just dive in.