I was standing on my small balcony with one of my little brothers. Our bellies were full of food and wine (coca cola and Perrier water). Friday night after a long week, the body and the mind need a break, a much-needed break. We had just listened to some soothing and slow songs because we are R&B and old school music aficionados. I am talking about the kind of songs that can take away any negative feeling lingering in your soul and replace it with pure bliss. So, here we were, standing, not talking, looking into the night. I turned to him, I paused for effect like they do in movies before saying something deep, because I do like to be dramatic at times and I told him, “everything passes.” He just smiled and nodded along, signaling he agreed with my premise. I do not like to celebrate (not all the time!) when I am right but in this case, a wicked smile came onto my unshaven face.
What did I mean by that? Everything you experience, go through, especially the bad, passes. Everything in this life has a beginning and an end so, it is a corollary that everything passes. The pain caused can linger for a while, depending on the trauma and the person because we do not have the same healing process or the same timetable for getting over things.
I asked my little brother to remember and recollect to the best of his abilities, all the deeply painful moments he had ever experienced. I am talking about every major pain, sorrow, break up, heart break, any financial woe, any illness that hurt his body and mind, any distress, any depression, etc. They have passed. They all have. They hurt in the past, they don’t hurt anymore. They might hurt but not with the same intensity, that is for sure. There are some extreme cases of trauma (rape, domestic violence, war, famine, illness, severe depression) and I do not know how to deal with those cases and I will not pretend otherwise. That is another subject for another day.
The only thing I know; in that moment, my little brother and I were happy. The past was behind us. Whatever we had gone through, it was done. However, if something passed, it isn’t synonymous with it never happening. Let’s not get confused here. Whatever happened, well, it fucking did. Denying its existence and its effects on you and your psyche is not an option. Whatever pain you went through, at the time, it was real, perhaps unbearable. You thought it would never end. Yet, it ended, didn’t it? It passed. It is in the past. It doesn’t hurt like it did back then. It cannot hurt the same way.
I remember my most painful heartbreak. It occurred a lifetime ago and it wasn’t pretty. It broke me in pieces, crashed my soul and I felt hopeless and alone. Yet, today, I thank the Gods I went through that pain. It taught me more than any books or movies would. Allow me to be pretentious enough to say I am glad it happened to me and that it hurt so damn much. I got a chance to rebuild myself with time. If I think about it today, I just smile. It doesn’t hurt anymore. One could think it never hurt, almost as if it didn’t happen. But it did…
Well, given enough time and perspective, I believe most pains and sorrow come to pass. Yet, that doesn’t mean pain won’t come back to pay us a short or lengthy visit. We don’t know what tomorrow holds, we are not fortune tellers and who the hell would want that job? However, if pain comes back, you will be better equipped to deal with it. Whether you care to admit it or not, you learned something valuable last time you encountered pain, you learned something useful, something tangible or something intangible, it matters not. The idea is to learn as much as you can as from the bad experiences.
I am writing this for anyone who is out there fighting to stay sane and strong in the face of pain, sorrow, adversity and hopelessness. You and I are the same. Whatever you are going through, I am sure I could relate. We, humans, go through the same things in this life so keep in mind that we can always learn from each other.
Please know that as grim as the world might seem today, it gets better, it gets easier. No pain is eternal, and no happiness is either. Life is full of cycles, peaks and valleys. Today, we are in the valley and tomorrow we could very well be on a peak and vice versa. Please also remember that change doesn’t happen overnight and good can come out of a bad situation. One last crucial thing: whatever you are going through if you cannot take it or if it becomes too much, seek help and accept help. Talk to people. Be vulnerable and let your pain out. Do what you can to understand your pain. No one gets strong by being safe and never getting hurt. Pain and experience make you strong.
In the end, just keep in mind that, whatever it is, it too shall pass.
Just one man’s opinion.
Now, smile and go on with your day.