During a conversation the other day, a friend said to me, “You are so wise. How do you know all this stuff?” This was their reaction to a statement I made about anger being an important part of the grieving process after a trauma, and my advice to embrace the emotion and work through it instead of fighting it.
My friend was sharing some of the deeper parts of her heart. She opened up about her frustration and shame at feeling SO angry about how her life turned out.
I explained that most people fight anger by telling themselves it is not an appropriate emotion, someone has it worse, or it’s unnecessary because it won’t change anything, etc. I also told her that fighting anger in this way suppresses the emotion temporarily, but would ultimately make her feelings of anger return with added strength and weight if not addressed.
I am not a licensed therapist, but I know that I spoke the truth, the kind of truth that comes from experience. I also told her that I appear to be wise, and “know” stuff because I have lived through it, and getting to the point where I am at today….was and continues to be hard work.
Being bitter is easy. Pushing people away is easy. Feeling sorry for yourself is easy.
Finding things to be grateful for when you watch people around you getting everything they want, is hard work. Forgiving offenders and abusers so you can find peace, is hard work. Believing in yourself when no one else does, is hard work.
I am incredibly grateful for the wisdom God has blessed me with because of the hard, difficult, and painful stuff I have had to work through. My experiences have made it possible for me to empathize, love, and serve you.
“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. What I can do, I should do. And what I should do, by the grace of God, I will do.”
~ Edward Everett Hale ~
You are unique. Your struggles and joys are meant for you and at the same time intended to help you, help others. One day you will look back and be able to see how the emotional work you did, blessed you with wisdom, grace, and true, divine, beauty.