Life,  Meaningful Living,  Musings

Finding Purpose in your Pain

Lately, I’ve had to brace up and get back to reality. I’ve had to resume going to the office again and attend church on sunday. I even attempted going for a 10 year old birthday party just to try and soothe how i feel.

Have I mentioned that once you lose a loved one, everything stops abruptly? Your schedule, routine and everything that used to matter becomes irrelevant.

Going back to work has been difficult. Why? Because not everyone understands that you do not feel like laughing at their jokes (which is supposed to make you feel better) or how unsettling giving a recount of what happened makes you start crying all over.

Some people have been exceptional and I am grateful for those ones who seem to have a tiny idea of what you are actually going through.

My most recent encounter was days ago. A colleague stopped by my office to give his condolences. He explained how he lost two close family members in the space of four days and how helpless he was for a while. He went ahead to remind me that i could not do anything physically rather i should decide to find a way to soothe the pain I feel.

He shared his own painful experience to encourage me and I felt a little lighter….just a little. 

Apparently, if ‘you’ve been there and done that’, your story becomes a source of encouragement to others.

After he left, I thought about what purpose I could get off the pain I feel at the moment. I feel like I have always been able to handle whatever bad situation life throws at me. 

Not like i have had a lot of bad situations but little things like….. channeling my anger into reading a lot more (while in university) and it always paid off. Then, I have always been able to block out memories, incidents or people that are toxic to me and I did/still do that well too.

However, what I have never been faced with is, having to find ways to soothe my pain because of the loss of a loved one. It’s all so new to me and I’m just asking myself, Is crying and feeling bad all that I can really do?

Somewhere in all of this, I’ve had to console my mum as well. Everyone says you need to be strong and you need to be strong for you mum too. I guess it’s easier when you have people that can grieve with you.

Being able to find ‘good’ in pain is difficult. Everyone faces a different kind of pain but if you ask me, bearing the loss of a loved one has to be the most depressing.

As much as everyone encourages you to be strong, the healing process is not instantaneous. It will take a long time and this brings me to the first point about finding purpose in pain.

  • Do not be in a hurry to heal.

I do not understand why any will think it’s going to be so easy to heal and soothe the pain you feel. For a matter of fact, allowing yourself to feel pain is the most crucial part to recovery. Do not try to feign strength when you are certainly not doing well. 

Cry, Reminisce, think of the good and bad times. You need to acknowledge your current situation.

  • Allow your family/friends to take care of you.

I have realised that you cannot survive on your own and you should not try to. When you are in your most difficult state, the last thing that should allow to overwhelm you is loneliness.

Take solace in the arms of a sister, brother, husband, wife, friend, mother etc. It is even more beneficial when such person has the right words/scripture and can also listen.

  • Gradually accept that life happened.

Regardless of the condition in which your reason for grief occurred, try to remember the two sides of the coin. There will always be good and bad, happiness and sadness, joy and sorrow, loss and gain, life and death, morning and night.

Trust in God for strenght and get closer to what you believe in.

Remember the aim is not to rush things or to stop grieving immediately. Rather, the aim is to gradually face reality. Your friends/family will have to go about their business at some point. 

The question is how will you fair when you are alone?

  • Finding purpose.

Everyone has a different way of reacting to pain. In the case of a losing a loved one, think about what they have always wanted for you.

If they have always wanted you to be happy, then plan to start being happy.

Think about what they remind you of, if they were philanthropists, then plan to follow that line in their honour.

If there is a project they have always wanted to start, plan to do something in that area.

Decide to share your story and lessons from your pain to other people going through the same ordeal. You will feel fulfilled when you realise that you can help/encourage a person in difficulty.

Like I mentioned in Meaningful Moments you should Never take for granted, difficult situations like this will make you re-evaluate your lifestyle.

I read that you cannot choose what experiences life throws at you, but you can choose how you want to live after that experience.

In your little corner, go over these questions:

How will this pain affect me going forward?

How has this pain changed my perception about life?

What burning desire has the pain birthed?

Will this pain be the basis for my new decisions?

How will this pain affect my relationship with others?

Before this occurrence, was I really happy with my lifestyle?

Are there things I now need to change?

A situation could affect you forever but we can choose if it affects us for good or for worse.

I am still on a journey, trying to soothe the pain I feel, mixed emotions, dealing with people’s excesses….I am not in a hurry for the pain to go away but thinking about these things and putting my thoughts down helps me manage my expectations.

How do you deal with pain?

I’ll love to read from you




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