Self-Care #197 – Go where your pain is to prepare for what happens badly in life.
Yesterday we talked about the power of loss, grief and pain not being one that can take away the potential of life.
Carl appreciated the idea that “scripted cue cards” with platitudes on them to read off for ourselves or for others when something bad happens – “Good comes out of bad,” “I know what you feel like,” and so on – is nothing anyone wants. His comment included, in true Carl-style, a great question:
But what else can we say to show respectful empathy?
Goodness. For crying out loud, we aren’t a bunch of calloused puff heads who don’t care or who don’t have a clue when someone is suffering! We’ve all asked this question and wanted to help. We’ve wanted to connect, to serve, to answer Carl’s question when we are in or come into the presence of pain.
In self-care, we can’t help others if we don’t help ourselves first. We can’t give what we don’t have. Airplane crashing, put your oxygen on before your babies. Can’t withdraw if the bank account is empty…. We take care of ourselves and find that we can serve others more as a result. It’s the same way in grief. If we don’t go where our own pain is in life, if we aren’t present with our life journey, if we don’t fight hard for who we are, it is very hard to know how to answer this question.
There’s something to say about doing the work before the trouble comes and then when it comes, use it to prepare for more. I love Ecclesiastes 12 which tells us in Solomon’s depressed and yet feisty words,
Remember your Creator
in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
and the years approach when you will say,
“I find no pleasure in them”—
Solomon was talking about self-care here. Holding us responsible at the elemental level to use the time we have before trouble comes, so that when it comes, we have a way of answering.
Carl gave his own answer,
…live life on life’s terms like it or not. If we allow Jesus to embrace us and comfort us it will fortify us through life’s unfortunate tragedies.
Question: What is your answer to Carl’s question? Please tell me your story.
- Grief… (jenn2write.wordpress.com)
- Grief – sorrow or mental suffering resulting from loss, affliction, regret, death… (davidjamesandassociates.wordpress.com)
- Love as pain relief (gizmag.com)