“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”― Haruki Murakam
Empowered Choices when dealing with Pain and Suffering:
My last post talked about the “Crazy Eight Infinite Loop” that many of us get stuck in. Once we recognize we are in it, now the real question is; how do we get out of it? Understand first, life is full of pain. We face, across our lives many instances that cause us pain. The loss of a job, financial loss, los of a loved one, not making the cheerleader squad in high school, not being the star quarterback in college or high school. The first time you got your heart-broken. How much pain did you have when your heart was broken the first time and how badly did you suffer? I am betting quite a while. Probably a lot longer than you remember . I will bet in some ways you can still remember the pain of the break-up, BUT, I bet you can’t remember how long you suffered for… can you? Maybe an approximation of how long you suffered , but not an exact time in days, weeks, months and years.
We do not have a choice as to when our loved ones leave the planet and we will feel the pain, but, WE determine how long we will suffer and how deeply we will suffer. We have the choice to mourn their death or celebrate their life and deeds… it’s a choice. We can bounce between Sorrow for the loss and Anger that we lost them or we can make the “Empowered choice”: to never forget them, celebrate their lives and the lessons we learned from them. Feeling the Pain of the loss absolutely…Suffering from the loss is… a choice.
We feel the pain of our loved ones addiction…no doubt. We would not be human if we did not feel it. How long we suffer and how long we want to be in the “Crazy Eight” and push our lives into Anger and Depression is in reality… a choice.
Clear your mind for a second…I want you to think for a minute …Go back to your high school or college days, your choice. Dig back to something that caused you pain during those years. Let’s go back to that first break-up as an example. Remember it? Good. Remember how badly it hurt. I bet you even can remember the person’s name.. say the name out loud! Say: (insert the name ) really hurt me. Remember the suffering you put yourself through over the break-up? Let me remind you and think about the times you cried, the friends who you leaned on, maybe the letters you wrote OR the mix tapes you made? That’s right…. the mix tapes… you know you remember the mix tapes we all made. (Apologies to the 8 Track crowd out there). The suffering seems silly now… it seems almost pointless now, doesn’t it? Exactly…. you got the point… the pain was real….. but the suffering…. pointless and self-inflicted. You might even be thinking what a waste of time the suffering was! It wasn’t a complete waste of time you probably got some great mix-tapes out of the suffering!
I know what you are thinking. Ok, so what your telling me is to look back twenty years and the pain may still be real but the suffering will be funny? What if I do not want to wait twenty years?
So…I still haven’t answered the question of how to break the “Crazy Eight” pattern. I’m getting there…. hang-on a second. First we need to understand the cycle and then admit we are in the cycle.
There are many ways to break out of the Crazy 8. You actually just did it, you see when you laughed you actually for a moment stopped the cycle. You made a choice to think about and focus on something other than the problems you are facing in your life. For just a moment you broke it. Up and out!
Once you understand that you are in a cycle like this, it becomes easier to break it. Simply because you recognize the pattern. There are numerous ways to break the cycle and it is slightly different for everyone. Laughter is only one of the many ways you can break the pattern and change gears. Writing, a hobby like guitar playing, exercise, laughter, movies. Whatever makes you change your frame of mind. Let me know what works for you…