I have been thinking about these words for a few days now. Remember the REM song of the same name? (Maybe my friend SF will imbed a YouTube of the video on her blog, since I haven’t a clue how to do so…..hint hint) In the video, Michael Stipe is singing the song, and walking
among cars, in stopped traffic, and besides the words of the song being so telling, so is the emotion that shows on every person’s face in that video. It is so true, we all hurt, we all have our own wounds, our own trials, situations that we suffer through. Maybe that person that cut you off in traffic yesterday was on his or her way to a loved one in the hospital? Maybe your co-worker who is being short tempered and distant with you today has a family member in rehab? Maybe, just maybe, that person sitting alone in church and crying is just in need of a friend. I have been at fault for misjudging other people by what they appeared to be acting like; they won’t talk to me so they must not like me, so I must defend myself. They are crabby to me, so I must have pissed them off in some way so I need to demand for them to tell me.
It isn’t always about us, or about me, as I have come to find out. But, the bottom line is that we all hurt in some way. Even those of us that have had life experiences rich with being cared for and love expressed for them, we still hurt. I know that I am hurting when I feel like what I describe is one raw nerve. Any little thing that touches my body or my heart, HURTS. I found a definition in the dictionary, quite by accident, for a word “freehearted”; which meant just that, to have a heart free and full of emotion. I think that is part of why for me, when I hurt, it is such an intense, raw experience. I think part of that is also my tendency to take in what affects the souls and hearts of those that I love. I no longer feel the need to heal all of their hurts, but I do still take in some of that pain, at least for the time being, inside my own heart.
Everybody hurts. That is why as a counselor, I will never be without a job. Sound weird? Well, it really isn’t a reason that I want job security; I want to be out of a job someday. Not because others won’t always be hurting, but even though everybody hurts, everybody heals as well. We all get better, or at least, have the ability to get better. When we cut ourselves, get a scratch or an abrasion, it always heals, sometimes faster than others. The bleeding stops, the scab forms, falls off, and sometimes we are left with scars, sometimes not. I have some very close family members who have some long term scars on their bodies and their hearts. But, I believe in their own power to heal, and they believe in it for themselves as well. Healing can be tricky, because if we do not take care of our healing properly, our wound can become infected, we could become sicker than we were before, if we don’t care for our hurts in a proper way, give them their due, if you will. However, we also don’t want to be licking our wounds forever. We all have to learn to WANT to heal, if that does not come natural to us.
It can be easy to sit with our wounds, and believe on some level that we got what we deserved, that we don’t deserve to get better and to heal, or that we need to keep the wounds fresh, open and painful to remember, to teach ourselves something. That is just not true. Keeping ourselves in pain, beyond what occurs when we first sustain an injury, only perpetuates a belief that we deserve all of the bad things that happen to us. No one, I say again, no one deserves that. We don’t deserve to do that to ourselves, and in addition, it keeps us stuck in a position of powerlessness.
We are not powerless, we are not without the ability to change our lives for the better, to heal and feel new again. Maybe we are not ready to completely show our scars and move our life in a new direction. Maybe we aren’t ready for the bandages to come off, just yet, but we can make a small step toward healing. Tend to your wounds, no matter how small or large and deep. Tend to them carefully and lovingly, and then allow them to heal, slowly or more rapidly. And, then, revisit your hope. Your hope and faith that you will heal, you will get better, you will feel good again, and hopeful that your life and your future is worthwhile.
As I have progressed through this journey called life, I have had to learn that the lessons that I will have will not always be epiphanies that are joyful when they come to me; not everyone lesson is a happy lesson. There will be many more hurts, griefs, and heartwrenching experiences along the way.
But, just as everybody hurts, everybody heals also. And that will always, always give me hope for myself and for those that I love.