I’m in a particularly honest mood which is probably not the best place to write a blog from so apologies straight away! My blog buddy and I are writing to the theme ‘Life goes on’ this week and I love the fact that we never read each others before we write ours – that way we’re not influenced by the other. It’s amazing how different we write against the same theme each week as our experiences are different, our circumstances and life’s journey is different and of course we have different thoughts and ideas. This week when I thought about our theme the only thoughts that have come to me are around grief, loss and pain. I know not a very cheery thought for a Sunday night but bear with me.
We seem to hear the phrase ‘Life goes on’ when something out of the ordinary has happened to us. When we lose a loved one or get fired from a job, or our partner leaves us – something that’s extraordinary but for some reason we think saying ‘oh well, life goes on’ to the person feeling that pain will somehow help! It doesn’t. In fact it makes us feel worse. Sometimes people don’t even have to use this phrase there may be other phrases they think hide that sentiment ‘oh well, I’m sure time will heal’, or ‘plenty more fish in the sea’. Of course sometimes (more the common response) if we don’t want to say the wrong thing we just say nothing at all. When my Dad died and people didn’t mention him anymore for fear of upsetting me, it actually made me feel worse. I think there’s something about our society that is frightened of deep emotion. We are afraid that if we actually stay in that sad, dark place with people they will never come out or more importantly to us, we may never come out.
If we cannot be with sad emotions then we can’t be with other human beings! I’m not saying of course that we shouldn’t try to help people find the light at the end of the tunnel and find hope and peace, but that tunnel may need to be a long one for some people and we may need to walk alongside them and shine a torch until the end of the tunnel is in sight.
I’ve had a few arguments with my children today – particularly with one. It’s made me think about the fact that we find some emotions so difficult to be with. Children, particularly those who’ve experienced real dark emotions, cannot make allowances for our emotions. They do not understand empathy very often and their own feelings are so huge they cannot put them aside if we need them too. As a Mum I find this hard sometimes. Those days when I’m tired and grumpy and just want them to give me a break, are usually the days when they can’t. They sense our lack of centredness and it scares them. I know this but I still fall into this trap time and time again. There’s a phrase on a video I play on some of our workshops which keeps coming back to me. It says that good parenting is about us being able to balance our needs against the needs of our child. Sometimes that’s really hard.
Today I didn’t do well with this but I do know in this context that life does go on. There will be another day to try again tomorrow. I did try to repair a number of times with my son but it kept happening again and again until I had to say ‘hubby can you please take over’. I know though that the more I can be with their huge, dark emotions the less dark and huge they become. In order to do this I have to look after myself so that less of the days like today happen and more of those walking alongside them shining the torch.