July 16, 2012
Many years ago, in my more naive incarnation, I said things like "this isn't fair" and "why am I having to go through more?" I thought that life came equipped with a score card and we only had to fill in one square on each line and then we were "done". A lovely way to look at the world even if it was a bit skewed. I'd look around me and compare myself to others. I'd wonder why this person had had so little happen to them but I had had to go through so much.
There is no such thing as "fair" when talking about life. Life just "is". It's not about fair vs. unfair. It just "is".
And there is no score card. Sadly. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could just put a pin in each unpleasant experience of our journey on a cardboard chart and then say "done". "That's it for me, those are all the unhappy experiences I must go through."?
It wasn't really until I was in my 40s that I realized every person has their share of grief and hardship. Some endure more than others. And I don't know why that is and more importantly I now know that I don't "need" to know that. I learned that some people who haven't had a lot of negative, difficult experiences aren't necessarily any more blessed than I am.
I had a childhood that was difficult at times and I coped with much; I lost a beloved grandfather at an early age; I lost 2 dogs because we had to move and pets were not allowed; my parents divorced; I lost two babies, one at 4 months, one at one month; I had endometriosis; I had a blood disorder called thrombocytopenia that was quite devastating but manageable because of good medical care and the removal of my spleen; my mother died at a young age; my sister died at an even younger age. I seriously thought that my score card was full....there couldn't be any more room. Hadn't I endured enough? But there was more. There was still space for breast cancer.
And it hit me then...it's pointless and useless to think that after a bucketful of grief that you won't be given more. You might be. There might even be more challenges, more grief ahead for me. I'm sure there will be.
I learned that you accept what comes your way and you work through it. And I know that it isn't always easy and there are days when getting out of bed is a huge task, but I also know that there are days when getting out of bed is the best feeling in the world. I learned that you can roll over, curl up and quit or you can be fierce, grab those big girl panties and get on with it (even if the elastic snaps!). I learned that you find the message and you learn the lesson from the experience and you say "I can do this", even when you feel at the deepest depths that you can't.
I learned that maybe having such a full score card means I've experienced some lessons that have given me more than I could ever have dreamed of. But the most important thing I've realized is that the blessings and the wonderful things that have happened in my life far outweigh the negative experiences and if we had score cards for those I'd need a filing cabinet to keep them in.