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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Not Being Held Hostage to Sorrow

It's so easy to end up being held hostage to sorrow. Your own sorrow. Someone else's sorrow. The sorrow from a terrible situation close to home or far away. The sorrow from failures in everyday life. The sorrow from inconvenience and irritation and discomfort. The terrible sorrow of untimely, unexpected death. The sorrow of who and what you love changing or disappearing. The sorrow of dreams dying, and hope ending.

What do you do when the sorrow is completely beyond your capacity to cope, when it overwhelms you and all you have built to stand between you and sorrow?  You can spend all your energy rejecting it and manipulating it and yourself so you don't feel the full impact, but it won't magically disappear because you have set out to overcome it or sidestep it or manage it.

As with physical pain, sometimes there is nothing to do but breathe slowly and move through it and let it move through you, and take the help and support you need where you can. And even that isn't always clear. Because sorrow and suffering can feel like a dark cave, a place of isolation where you're so alone that reaching out for help seems impossible.

There are no quick answers or handy solutions. In spite of what the talk shows and magazines tell you there really aren't any 3-or-5-or-8 simple steps to reclaiming your happiness when you've been devastated by sorrow. But as much as possible, move away from those who create sorrow, and surround yourself with those who know how to love and care for and respect you. Because there is already more than enough sorrow to go around, and keeping the company of those who use sorrow as relationship currency is dangerous to your well-being.

Notice the places and people that open up positivity and possibility and want the best for you, even if you can't see what that might be. Notice when there is calm or peace or comfort, and spend more time in those places and with those people. Experience solitude when it nurtures you, and company when it nurtures you. And time - give yourself time and then some more time. Know that on the meandering river of time, the currents slow down and speed up and there are straight-aways and curves, and you're not supposed to try to change all that. Even when it's hard - really hard - it has its own rhythm and movement and wisdom. If you get too stuck in the sorrow, you can miss
the lift that the currents offer. 

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