A few months ago, Jan, my wife Jody’s mom, passed away after a long battle with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
A few weeks after, I took my youngest daughter Jasmine to her first flag football tournament. They lost all three of their games and were eliminated on day 1 of the tournament.
Shortly after that, we parted ways with one of our team members where the fit just wasn’t right for either of us.
What do all three of these situations have in common? The inextricable marriage of logic and suffering.
With degenerative diseases like Jan’s, her passing was a just a matter of time. While she lived a great life and touched a lot of people, it is a fact that the circle of life will catch up with us all.
For Jasmine, it was her first tournament. Her team played against teams that had practiced all year round. It was a tough but great life experience, but each player learned about the importance of nurturing a resilient mindset.
In the case of letting someone go, it was clearly better for both parties because neither of our needs was being met in the relationship. We can now both find better fits and more ease in our lives.
The passing of a loved one is heartbreaking at every level. Wading through a lifetime of memories, trying to find ways to fill the void, wrestling with imagining a future without them – all of it hurts.
Losing hurts. We are filled with thoughts of what could have been. If things had only gone slightly differently, the outcome could have been so different.
Ending a relationship is hard. So much hope and promise at the outset. Now things just aren’t turning out how we thought they would. Sadness. Disappointment. Frustration.
We’ve all encountered people entrenched in one side or the other of a relationship .
Some try and explain things away, moving on to the next thing and never fully experiencing the moment.
Some cannot let go of how things should have turned out. They are all up in their feels, as my daughter would say, and can’t find the tools to pull themselves out.
All the logic in the world cannot explain away the pain. Nor should it. It can offer perspective, but it should not prevent us from fully living grief, loss, or disappointment.
In that same vein, all the suffering in the world cannot change the outcome of things. It cannot alter reality.
So, as with all things, if we can find the middle ground and hold space for both the logic and the suffering in any given situation, maybe, just maybe, we can welcome their union. We don’t have to deny the existence of the other; instead, we can benefit from the yes, and instead of the either or.
So how about you?
Are there situations in your life where embracing both logic and suffering might allow you to fully experience and welcome what is unfolding?