Our first response after pain is often to shut down. Our wide open hearts have been trampled and it seems that iron bars are a necessary protection against further damage. We spent days, months, years giving, giving, giving while others were taking, taking, taking. We soon discover that what we gave just wasn't enough. It wasn't enough for them to totally accept us into their hearts or to believe in our potential. We don't want that to happen again, so we shut down. Who does this response benefit?
The brick wall we erect, not only blocks out the beasties, but also ruins our view. The sun cannot shine through it. The Good cannot open it. We block off all possibilities hoping that we are smart enough to know when to take down a brick and let someone or something in. But how can we be? All our future experiences are now colored by the pain that we refuse to let go of and we no longer see clearly. How do we get off this roller coaster?
The reality is that everything we perceive starts within and is subject to our labeling. Things we find inconvenient to our current reality is "bad". Rain at a picnic=bad. Red light when we are late=bad. Sickness=bad. However, from another perspective, all of these are good. Without rain, there would be no life. The person who got the Green light while you were at red is ecstatic. Doctors would go out of business if no one was ever sick.
It is the same for the situation that brought us pain. Though hard to hear, someone or something else actually benefited from it. Shutting down doesn't change the fact that there is a flip side to every situation. The roller coaster stops not when we realize this concept but when we internalize it. We have to choose which side we will respond to and use for growth. There is no good vs evil. Me vs them. Love vs Hate. They are all just flip sides to the same quarter. What side of the quarter will you focus on? Can you take the bounce to the other side and get back on your feet?
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