We imagine that we just have to get through this one thing, this present phase, this latest difficulty, and then we can return to our lives, or be returned to our true selves. Only then can we re-engage again.
Of course, there are things we have to give up when we’re in deep pain, that goes without saying, but we often stop interacting with others and participating in events and activities almost entirely because we can only do them minimally or from the sidelines. And, in that way, we put our lives on hold.
But it’s also important to find ways to step back into life, to re-include activities we enjoy and people we enjoy in whatever capacity we can, even while we are still living with pain.
When we’re in pain, we may not remember that we are still important to others. We still have an impact on the people who love us. They miss being with us, they still care for us, and they are part of our overall connection with life.
When we feel terrible, it’s easy to forget that we are still lovable and still loved. Withdrawing because we assume that people don’t want us around, or because we feel we don’t have anything to offer, cuts off opportunities for loving engagement with life. It’s not entirely healthy, and it’s often not happy either.
When we’re in pain for a long time, it’s true, some of our friends and acquaintances will no longer be part of our lives, they will move on without us. But others will want to stay connected, and others may show up in unexpected ways if we’re open to that. I think it’s important to find out who is still there for us, who tries to understand, who tries to hear, who offers to help in whatever way they can.
More Than Getting Through
It’s so important to find ways to reach out in love, and to express love. To let dear ones know that, even in pain, we care about them. No loving gesture is too small. A phone call, an email, a cup of tea, a short visit, a meetup, an update. I’m still here. I still love you.
We may choose to put our life on hold while we’re in pain, but it doesn’t wait for us. It keeps flowing on. That can become a great sadness if we wake up a few years later and realize we’ve disconnected ourselves from the stream of life.
It’s sad, and it’s frightening. Best to find ways, however small, to remain connected with others, connected with life, even as we’re on this challenging and often lonely journey through pain. Especially while we’re on this challenging and lonely journey.
And I’ve found that to be the strongest and most positive path of healing.