Pain Is Inevitable, But Misery Is Optional

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Pain Is Inevitable

“Pain is inevitable, but misery is optional.” I remember the first time I heard this. It was a teacher sharing with love, but it was received with but you just don’t understand.

Over the past weeks I have been spending a great deal of time in contemplation. It tends to happen when a “curve ball” is thrown. My “curve ball” has been some semi-serious medical issues.

As a result, I have had this gift of time to contemplate the journey that lies on the path before me.

Yesterday, the words of another amazing teacher came to mind. She spoke of Intentional Grieving and the benefits of allowing yourself this gift. Yesterday, I choose to gift myself a day to intentionally grieve.

Grieving is a process of letting go – of emptying the chalice so to speak in order that the Universe can refill it. As you grieve something, it can be painful. Your heart hurts. Sorrow experienced. But what of the words “misery is optional”?

As I dived deep into the realities of this path, I felt pain. My heart hurt. Sorrow experienced.

Yet, by allowing myself to intentionally grieve – grieve the projects that I must let go of, grieve the experience of attending an event I had been looking forward to, grieved the loss of health, and all the other pieces, I was also allowing for something beautiful to refill the chalice.

There was a time, back when that first teacher shared that “misery is optional, that it was said everything that I personally let go of had claw marks in it.

When we love something, when we have that joyful anticipation of something, to let it go can be one of the most difficult processes we can face in life’s journey.

We tend to grasp and cling on to wring every last moment from the experiences. It can last days, weeks, months and even at times, years. We become lost in the ‘story’ of letting go. We become “miserable”.

Yet, when we grieve with intention, when we allow ourselves the gift of becoming empty and trust that the ‘chalice’ will be refilled, amazing sweet nectar is gifted. The wounds left from letting go are immediately filled with an eternal knowing – an eternal love.

So yesterday, I gave myself a gift. A gift to grieve intentionally. A gift to cry. A gift to experience the losses. Today, as I sit in contemplation, others surround me busy with what the medical world does.

I sit full of gratitude, full of joy, and full of more love than can be related in words. Do I believe that the pain of loss will return? Of course. Another day will arrive when sorrow will fill my soul.

Another day will arrive when I become full of pain and frustration. Pain is inevitable. Today I understand that the misery that can occur with the process of letting go, of intentionally grieving is in fact optional.

I leave you with the words of a country song by Tim McGraw. “I hope you have the chance to live like you were dying.”

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Carla Goddard

Pain Is Inevitable

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