Continuing on my journey of “epiphanies” I have been reading about. Here is number 5.
5. Human beings have evolved to suffer, and we are better at suffering than anything else.
Yikes. It doesn’t sound like a very liberating discovery. I used to believe that if I was suffering it meant that there was something wrong with me — that I was doing life “wrong.” Suffering is completely human and completely normal, and there is a very good reason for its existence. Life’s persistent background hum of “this isn’t quite okay, I need to improve this,” coupled with occasional intense flashes of horror and adrenaline are what kept human beings alive for millions of years. This urge to change or escape the present moment drives nearly all of our behavior. It’s a simple and ruthless survival mechanism which works exceedingly well for keeping us alive, but it has a horrific side effect: human beings suffer greatly by their very nature. This, for me, redefined every one of life’s problems as some tendril of the human condition. As grim as it sounds, this insight is liberating because it means: 1) that suffering does not necessarily mean my life is going wrong, 2) that the ball is always in my court, so the degree to which I suffer is ultimately up to me, and 3) that all problems have the same cause and the same solution.
So, hmmmmm. Thoughts? Well, yeah. Suffering doesn’t mean that something is ultimately wrong with me or something is wrong with the situation that I am in. It’s just a part of life. It is what it is. Right? It certainly sucks at times, it’s just that. sucks. I have dealt with that before, I will deal with it again.
I think of that now as I come upon another surgery. I had my pre-op surgery appointment yesterday. I began to freak out (the usual) about how I was going to get everything done BEFORE surgery so that things will run more smooth AFTER surgery. Mind you this is the 4th surgery I have had on this foot. I have made it through 3, so this should be a breeze, right? Well, yes and no. I live in a different city (bigger), my daughter is older and in more activities. I have more appointments as does she. That in itself had me wired yesterday. Ok, breathe. Thinking about it this morning……IT IS WHAT IT IS!! I have done this before.
Putting it all into perspective….I will do what I can before surgery date (next Thursday) and then do what I can while laid up for the next how ever long it takes to get better. K is older and I hope and pray that she will be more helpful. We have talked and she is willing to be of more help. I think that will boost her self-esteem knowing that she can do more and feel like she is more grown up. (good and bad??) So….with that said. I have been creating my own suffering. More like dwelling in it. But getting it in perspective knowing that, this is also my solution. I can and will get through this. One step (pun intended) at a time.