There is oh so much suffering in this world, either born out of a random tragedy – no shortage of that madness in our world – or from the quiet desperation of a bad childhood, neglected upbringing or other seeds of misery that befall us.
The question I want to explore is if you can ever truly heal from tragedies?
Is it possible to more than just accept them and move on with your life, is it possible to heal from them completely as you would from a scar that goes away leaving no mark behind?
Or do you have to live with them as you would with your shadow, carry their weight on your shoulders and be forever a victim with well-deserved suffering enough to last you more than one lifetime?
The scale of a tragedy certainly has a lot to do with the healing process, but if it were the same exact circumstance, does the healing happen the same way in all of us? I have never known the same tragedy affect any two people the same way. Some people heal faster and easier while others go on suffering and living with those ‘scars’ indefinitely.
During one of my recent coaching sessions, I told my client that I cannot imagine the hardship he has had to endure. If he believes the damage may be permanent, who am I to argue? I have no idea what he has been through and I am certainly not fit by degree or experience to comment so he may very well be right.
But I am qualified to ask questions and so I asked what if he is wrong? What if there is a slight possibility that he can indeed undo the impact of damage from his past to his present and future life? What if he can more than accept – and in fact undo – the conditioning of his upbringing?
There is no shortage of amazing human beings who emerge strong and untainted from tragedies that seem unthinkable to the rest of us. They are the same race and the same breed as the rest of us. How do they do it? Is it perhaps a deep willingness to tap into an immeasurable capacity for healing and recovering inside them? Is it the strength of faith and a set of beliefs that helps them create a life free of this suffering, after they have had just about enough of the pain and the tears and the darkness?
Is it a repeatable process for the rest of us who feel like mere mortals in the presence of these super humans?
Maybe it is a choice to continue to suffer or to choose to heal. Or rather, a specific choice not be stuck somewhere in the middle. Because to be in that middle place must be the hardest thing of all. You are torn between healing and suffering, between dark painful days and hopeful bright days, and you swing back and fro like an heavy pendulum, moving from one state to another, and feeling peace in small bursts in between all your agony.
Maybe it is about your deep-rooted beliefs. What do you believe to be true? That you are meant to suffer endlessly or that you deserve to heal and move on?
What you believe creates your reality, and believing the worst of everything is ironically the easiest thing to do in this crazy world where madness is the most sense we can make of some tragedies. Why work hard to believe anything else? We can justify the suffering, but not the healing so we choose to suffer. It can be easier to suffer in a world that creates so much of this suffering.
Misery loves company and how can healing have a place in a world where evil runs wild to murder children in their own classroom in a perfectly ‘safe’ town or to kill movie-goers in the comfort of a cinema?
But is it really in your control, to suffer or not to suffer? For some of us, it’s easier to stay with the suffering than the path of healing. Some of us want to live our lives looking back at what could have been and what we lost or what did not come to be. Others get over what happened and move on, focusing on what lies ahead, the possibilities of a life yet to be lived.
Whatever happened happened and it’s over and done with, be it a traumatic childhood or a shattered home or a long relationship that came to a sudden end. They simply move on without it dragging them for the rest of their lives. How do they do this?
In my search online, I found a few sources that speak in more depth on this topic and may offer more answers:
I do not know whether we can truly heal or not, I only know of the true stories of many human beings who have done it. They are the proof so it can be done. Plain and simple. These amazing, stunning, ridiculously awe-inspiring stories of people who overcome a terrible life, and make a great one out of it. What is it about them that the rest of us may be lacking? And if they can do it – heal so completely and become whole again – could it mean that there is a chance you and I are capable of healing from our own suffering in the same way?
“We cannot change the cards that we were dealt, only how we play the hand.”
Dr. Randy Pausch