Upsiding the Downs

And how many of us can appreciate the subtle good hues of life that can only be found in anxious change, even while it’s so often mistaken for turmoil in some varying degree. The little update to the operating system running your mind you get when you find out that you’ll no longer be having your favorite donut and coffee as your local Dippin’ Donuts has closed, shut out by pastries who’s settings are desperately depreciated from your tried and trusted experiences. It’s the little bits of life that you’re used to that, when taken away, really show you just how much weight you put into those very little, ever so minute aspects that can only be taken for granted until they’re not left to be taken, for granted or otherwise.

So when you lose it in a much bigger way, a long term relationship finally meets its lifespan, your yearly raise decides not to show up at your paycheck, or the whirling lights of police authority light up you and your drunken driving. Even worse, the major breakdowns, the giant wedding cake problems like watching your child die or losing that big love that you could’ve swore you left by the bedside before you went to sleep…

While mourning and the plethora of varietal emotions that can come with any of the varying degrees of unexpected forks in a road you were happy to just keep heading straight on down are completely good and well — and I certainly don’t prescribe to the typical manly notion that you need to be able to suck it up and shut it out, like a bullet in a pillow or a kid’s head stuck between the railings of a stairwell banister — I’m trying to figure out what that magick ingredient is behind simply suffering and learning from suffering. Where the very act becomes growth rather than descent into some horrible depression at worst, it’s unfortunately all too often reacted to as, even at very best, two steps back.

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