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Hope Forward: Surviving and Thriving through Emotional Pain

Monday, April 9, 2012

"All sorrows can be borne if we put them in a story or tell a story about them." ~ Isak Dinensen

I was reminded of the above quote several weeks ago when Mary Pipher included it in her talk (yes, more on Mary). And I've been wanting to share it on the blog. I think mainly because it has so many different meanings and implications, many of which Mary spoke about recently, and which are all worthy of repetition.
First, the theme of course, that talking helps. Telling our story helps us to bear the pain, to find the meaning, to continue on toward wellness and life and relief.
Second, that when we tell our story, we are less alone. New ideas, new insights, new thoughts can come to us. We can write and rewrite our narratives in ways that bring us to better places, new levels of understanding and new ways of being less alone in our pain and in our lives.
And this: a burden shared is a burden halved.
And more from Mary Pipher who talked about feeling overwhelmed with the enormity of some of life's problems, both the personal ones and the ones we all share as humans on this planet. That we do not necessarily have to know, in fact, perhaps we cannot know, that our efforts toward solving a particular problem will yield the result we want, when we even know what that is, but that there is a deep intrinsic value in being part of the solution. The effort alone counts. We cannot rest on saying that the problem is too big, seems unsolvable or will take too much effort so therefore we may as well not look, not try, not tend to it. We can take comfort in willingness to take a step, any next right step, and not sit back, ignore it, turn the other way.
It is true that for many of us, we don't get moving on certain issues in our lives until our frustration outweighs our fear. If we are functioning somehow, seemingly well enough, we often don't put forth the effort to push forward for something different or something better. But we do feel better when we are doing something, even if we are not sure where it will lead, or what exactly the goal is.
When there is sorrow to be borne, and we give it life, bring it out into our world and tell it's story, tell our story, we grow, we expand, we live better.

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