By Miranda Browning
Don’t you just hate a cliché piece of advice? ‘Everything happens for a reason’. ‘When life gives you lemons – make lemonade’. ‘It’s okay to not be okay’. I think it would be more accurate to say it’s a common thing to struggle, to search for purpose in those struggles, and to seek relief from those struggles in order to experience peace and joy.
But the common nature of those experiences does not make them feel okay. Let’s face it, we aren’t all walking around in our lives as personified depictions of live, laugh, love. Good for you if you are. I’d love to achieve that level of peace in my life. I’m sure we all would. But what about when life gives you lemons covered in shit? What do we make then? What is the reason for myself and so many others being sexually assaulted? Or the reason some of us have been emotionally abused and manipulated for years? The reason suffering seems to be the common theme of so many of our stories? Is there a reason? Some divine purpose for good? For God’s glory? Or is it simply suffering for suffering’s sake?
I don’t think there is any one answer to these questions. They are there to be wrestled with and worked through. There to draw you inward and heal – finding yourself in that process. Growing to love your body, mind, and soul and respect it for all it has brought you through and will continue to bring you through. What I am after here is not to propel you quickly through your grief, but to lament with you. It is not okay. The hurts and abuse you’ve endured. The despair you feel. The moments when you feel as if there is no way to escape. It is not okay that you’re not okay. It’s heartbreaking.
I’d call myself a realist. Maybe that’s you as well. Either way, would you not agree that the current self-interested and pleasure-seeking state of the world at the expense of vulnerable individuals is negative? And therefore realistic? I would say that in some ways we are justified for where we are in life. After all, our trauma got us here. That’s not to say we have to stay here. But just to acknowledge – we are here. And that sucks. Some will say it’s about perspective. That maybe if we changed our perspectives about our suffering that we would feel differently. They aren’t wrong. But we are not they.
Everyone at Grit + Gumption has found themselves in that pit. We’ve not always been there nor will we always find ourselves there in the future. Personally, I’m not afraid of that pit anymore. But I’m too familiar with it to leave you there alone. You are not alone.
Miranda Browning is the Creative Marketing Director of Grit Plus Gumption Farmstead, a 501c3 nonprofit.
If you’d like to know more about getting involved with Grit Plus Gumption and the work that we do, please email us at email@example.com and connect with us on social media.