Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Stop the Pain, I Want to Get Off

"How does one forgive herself," she wrote. "Feels like the weight of the world."

She made a mistake and lost her job. A dedicated employee for twenty-nine years lost her job with one mistake. Corporate back East fired her. Her boss fought for her. Her sister died of cancer less than a year ago. Her life was looking up with a recent job advancement, one whisked away with one mistake. The weight of the world.

"How is your job going," I asked another friend last week.

"I got laid off."

"Weren't you the vice president?"

Loss of job, loss of a loved one, loss of health. We all know the feeling of 'the weight of the world on our shoulders'. It's that sick feeling that follows you day and night. A darkness that seems to blur everything on the outside. A feeling of inadequacy. A feeling that the floor has fallen from beneath us and seems to continue to fall. Some of us seem to be on that shaky floor more often then not.

I often wonder if anyone is immune to those wobbly floor boards. What is it like to escape a shaken world? Do those people know how lucky they are? Or maybe I should reverse that....Do I know how lucky I am? You know what?! I'm a survivor. Let the darn boards shake.

It's not easy facing a world without employment, especially in a time when jobs are scarce, and, for me, when age comes into play. Sometimes I think my children believe I'm not looking for a job or that I don't care. It's not that at all. I have learned to embrace where I am and to live each moment the best I can. This is something I can control.

No one promised that life would be easy. I have seen what happens to those who have experienced a life of ease. Sooner or later the wall hits and stops them cold. Life is about learning to survive. Life is about learning to love oneself and to love a world that is often cruel.

What can we do to help ourselves when we are down? I don not have the answers. I only know my journey. My faith has been the core of my strength. "For when I am weak, then am I strong" has been my daily mantra. We are born weak learning about this world. We learn by the pains of growing up, the losses of those we love, war, hunger, tsunamis. We all learn by pain, loss.

Going forward is difficult when the wall is high, and we are weak. The wall is there not just because of the seemingly impossible hurdles we face but also because we are suddenly carrying fear and doubt  from pain and loss, disappointment and rejection. How much can the human body take? Well, I'm here to tell you that it can take a great deal.

Yes, I give the impression that life is good and all is well. It isn't an impression. It is real. I choose not to dwell on the negative and the loss. I choose not to dwell on the things I don't have. I am blessed beyond belief. Even if I didn't have family, friends, a home. I have self-love. I am worthy. I am a good woman who has much to offer. I am finding a new path because the old was closed to me. I am open to growing and changing. I want to move forward full of love and hope. It is my choice. I am fortunate that my choice is that easy.

I stopped the pain and walked forward. I found a wonderful woman I didn't know before that pain took away the old me. We are not the losses that hurt us. We are much, much more.


  1. Change is hard for so many of us. Embracing it is the only way to move past something and on with life.

  2. When hard times come upon those we know, we tend to examine our own lives. We begin to put small annoyances in perspective as we juxtapose a friend's misery. Then we appreciate what we have - for awhile - until the next stroke of bad luck invades another's life. Wouldn't it be nice if we could always appreciate what we have.

  3. Granny, I'm not sure we would appreciate what we have if we didn't have the dips in our lives. It is like we are born to accept adversity and see how well we can do with it. Darn, I'm pretty goo at it! Our strength can be that too for our friends. We are truly blessed that each day is indeed a new day.