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I can’t help but respect those who keep their internal sandbags filled no matter how grueling their life experiences. Especially since there’s no denying I could benefit from exhibiting greater resilience when events fall with a thud on the less-than-stellar side of the line.

Despite my admiration, however, it’s harder for me to connect with people who simply close the door on disappointments, hardships, and catastrophes before marching onward toward the light.

Instead, I prefer those who’ve found a way to both integrate and acknowledge their sorrows and setbacks. While it’s more and more common for our bodies and souls to undergo challenges, I’m unequivocally drawn to that tiny federation who finds neither shame nor joy in displaying the scars of their misfortunes.

…it’s tempting to grind down the telltalle marks of life’s struggles to mere etchings, but I can’t help but see the benefits in bearing witness to unhappiness, frustration, and trauma…

(top to bottom: Directional in San Francisco; meditative at California’s Boomer Beach; inspirational in rural Oregon; educational on Hawaii’s garden isle)


5 Responses

  1. … people who simply close the door on dissapointments. As far as I can tell these people are very rare in central-Europe. I often noticed the light-hearten spirit of US citizens. At their side I sometimes even felt like being sort of depressed, only because they were so easy going. Some say it is the war you experience in your own country – sort of a traumated society?
    Visiting language-classed together with US citizens I can tell the difference. I admire their spirit. Even past 2001.

    I just returned to the computer from de-cluttering the book shelves. Turns out Mr Paule did not list all his books in my superbe renovation-schedule-plan-list-excelfile. Well, we ended up a bit short on free shelves.

    Within the books which will make their way to the church’s fleamarket are some counseling books, maybe “guidebook” would be the proper word. By the time I read them – mostly presents – I was in a different mood. I obviously missed something, some things in my life. Not only is de-cluttering uplifting, knowing you can put aside those guidebooks uplifts even more, way more.

    I close with some gossip: I read in your profile your blog is also about midlifecrisis. I just wanted to let you I entered midlife crisis, obviously through the fun-gateway, with glittering turquoise nailpolish. The next level will be hairdying, blonde! I hope to enter that level not until 60 though!

    PS: I admire your vocabulary. the opposite of globish.

  2. Paula —

    It’s true, those in the US have a reputation for optimism and refusing to look over their shoulder. Not always the best choice, IMO, but then again neither is my way!

    I want to poke Mr Paula for ruining your system, but there’s a certain beauty in having (minor) things go wrong IMMEDIATELY after working hard to make everything go right.

    [Which belief system deliberately incorporates imperfection?]

    Loved the blue nailpolish. The plus side of pessimistic personality traits = a greater propensity for midlife crises and change! Now your guide/self-help books are off to their new home, while you sit admiring your beautiful, frivolous, sparkling nails. A win-win.

  3. As a therapist I see a whole lot of people who want to deny, repress and move on in the name of a spiritual bypass. I am a big believer in looking at the wound, saying it hurts and feeling the pain. We are changed by our pain( for good and for bad) and to pretend otherwise is a real loss.

  4. Yes, I think part of what makes us human is experiencing and acknowledging highs and lows, learning from our mistakes, appreciating when things go well, and not simply erasing anything inconvenient.
    Was it Dolly Parton who said, If you want to see the rainbows, you have to put up with the rain?

  5. LBR and Struggler —

    Glad to know I’m not alone in thinking there is some value (to self and others) in acknowledging things we’d rather not have experienced.

    Thanks for your additional thoughts.

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