Friday, August 7, 2015

Getting Through

This phrase has been haunting me since I heard it expressed in a meeting last week.  At the time it was used in connection to people who find themselves in life circumstances that appear insurmountable. When we say, "we'll get through", it denotes that there is a destination in mind, that we are getting through to something.  And if there is a destination in mind, there is a measure of expectation to get somewhere. And some won't achieve that. They will always feel as if they aren't making it.

I find that every day seems to have something "to get through."  And I don't think that phrase points to a specific destination.  As soon as I get through one thing, there is another one to overcome. I think "to get through" points to how we maneuver our way through the experiences and challenges of life. 

This week my constant companion, my dog Teagan, died unexpectedly. A huge loss that I have to manage. A dear friend with compassion for my hurt said, "you're a strong women, you'll get through this."  I was puzzled by that statement because, although my friend did not mean this, it felt as if because I'm "strong"my experience of getting through this should be swift and easy. That isn't the case. 

So, I've decided that getting through something is definitely not about getting somewhere. It is not about an end result. It is about being authentic in the reality of the experience. It is about naming and expressing the deep emotional reactions; yes, both the joy and sorrow, the scared, the angry, and the hope. 

Getting through means that you recognize the reality, pass through the emotions and connect to those around you who can journey with you. It's about being vulnerable and honest with yourself and those around you.  Its about accepting help and hugs when needed.  Its about being connected both inside and out.

It is actually when you don't embrace the reality, or express the emotions and learn from the experience that you don't "get through."

So, in my getting through the loss of Teagan, I am feeling her absence; smiling when I remember a special behavior, crying when I sit down and she doesn't jump up, and speaking her name as many times as I need to. 

I'm getting through.

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