Disappointments, pain and suffering are probably the hardest ways to learn any lesson but if I’m being honest, they’re the best ways to learn what’s important.
That gut-wrenching feeling in the depth of your heart, those uncontrollable tears, that moment of utter despair when you feel like you have failed yourself or you were taken advantage of or the temporary brain freeze after a shocking reality of a situation or a person, these are the moments you actually need to never let yourself stoop to that level again. This feeling will haunt you every time you face a similar situation, like an alarm bell that goes off every time you’re in danger and it will remind you of how you felt, what you went through, how long it took to get over it and in that moment, you’ll realize what’s important. You’ll put yourself first. You’ll promise yourself never to feel that way again.
You’ll get disappointed in a lot of people but that’s how you’ll learn not to make excuses for the ones you care about if they’re not treating you with respect. You’ll learn not to give someone the benefit of the doubt if they’re constantly giving you reasons to doubt them. You’ll learn that you don’t have much left in your tank for people who are in your life for the wrong reasons. You’ll finally learn how to say goodbye and drive off alone.
Your life will not always teach you the important lessons in a tender way and maybe that’s not how you’re supposed to learn such life-changing lessons. That’s why the things that shake us up the most are things that live with us. The incidents that change us and the circumstances that force us to face our fears, our demons or our weaknesses do not come in a subtle and comforting way, they come in like a storm wiping away everything you once knew and believed in. They come in and reverse everything so you can see things from a whole new perspective.
And maybe it’s a little unfair that every time we have to learn something so valuable, we have to go through a hurricane of emotions or our lives have to fall apart but if it will save us from a lifetime of the same disappointments or mistakes, then maybe it’s worth it.
If pain is an inevitable part of life, then the least we could do is try to minimize it. We may not be able to get it right every time or sniff the pain from miles away and run but maybe we can armor ourselves with tools like strength, resilience, wisdom, logic and faith so we can protect ourselves from the severity of that pain or the agony of these tragedies.
Maybe we don’t pick our pain or our suffering but we can pick how to cope with them, we go back to those hard lessons and we remember what’s important, we remember what’s worth suffering for and pick ourselves up again faster every time because we’re well equipped. We’re well prepared.