Why I’m Grateful for Pain and Disappointment

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Ever have one of those days? You know the kind I’m talking about. A day when a whole bunch of little things go wrong and you feel like you can’t catch a break. No one dies. A life altering accident doesn’t occur. Nothing like that. But still, if you had to choose between living the day over again or a root canal, you’d consider the root canal for like, a nanosecond. That’s the kind of day I had yesterday.

I woke up late after a fitful nights sleep. To say I had a bad hair day is an understatement. I tried some sort of new protein bar for breakfast. Blech. My concentration was off at work, which made every task take twice as long. Which meant that I worked through lunch. It seemed like I was at work for two days, although my co-workers assured me I was not. After work, I tried to do something nice for someone and it blew up in my face. My plans for a relaxing, fun-filled Friday night turned sour. I could tell that the stage had been set for a less than stellar weekend, and I was not having it.

In an effort to alleviate my ‘woe is me’ attitude, I decided to count my blessings. It’s an old tried and true pick me upper. Soon, I noticed my funky mood dissipating. One of the blessings I counted catapulted me into a philosophical pool of introspection. I thought, “Thank you Lord for pain and disappointment. I’m truly grateful.” Then I had to stop and check myself. Being that I’m a writer and lover of words, it’s easy for me to say things because they sound good, not because I really mean them. Sometimes I get so caught up in the mellifluous flow of beautiful sentences and waxing poetic, that I actually attempt to put one over on the Almighty Creator of the Universe. After a moment of self-exploration I concluded that this was not one of those times. I sincerely meant what I said. I was actually grateful for pain and disappointment. But why?

A little over two years ago tragedy struck my life. I was absolutely devastated. I was so hurt and disappointed that I literally could not stand it. So I allowed myself to become emotionally numb. At the time, it was the only way I could cope. Over time, however, it became a bad habit and an unhealthy defense mechanism. I didn’t allow myself to feel much of anything.

But yesterday, my feelings were hurt and I was saddened by an unfortunate turn of events. When it’s all said and done, I’m grateful for pain and disappoint because I’ve learned a few things. Disappointment can only stop by my house when hope has already taken up residence. You can’t experience disappointment, unless you first have hope. I know what it’s like to feel hopeless, and I’m glad to no longer be in that place. I also know that more often than not, pain comes with purpose. I’m thankful to have reached a place of maturity where I can accept that pain is a part of being human. It is evidence that I am alive and manifestation that an issue must be addressed. finite

When I was a little girl, I was often perplexed by the sight of someone smiling with tears streaming down their face. I could only associate tears with sadness. My mother would tell me, “Those are happy tears. Just keep on living. You’ll understand one day.” It never made sense to me then. Now I know that joy and sorrow walk closely together. They are two sides of the same coin. Sometimes, when you’re fully present in a single moment of life, the two emotions cross. Pure magic.

So I guess what I’m trying to get at, in a haphazard sort of way, is that I’m grateful for pain and disappointment because I know that they are only temporary. The key is to let them pass through, because triumph and expectation are right behind them.

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