Originally posted on Facebook on May 10, 2011:
Well it’s hard to explain but I’ll try if you let me.
Well it’s hard to sustain,
I’ll cry if you let me.
This doesn’t change the way I feel about you or your place in my life.
(Please don’t cry)
Can’t you see I’m dying here?
A shot of broken heart that is chased with fear.
Angels cry when stars collide
And I can’t eat and I can’t breathe
I wouldn’t want it any other way.
My heart burns through,
My chest to the floor.
Tearing me silently, although abruptly
Words can’t hide as I’m taking you home
And I tried to see,
Tried to understand your words as I’m taking you home.
Angels cry when stars collide,
And I can’t eat and I can’t breathe
I wouldn’t want it any other way.
~ Angels Cry performed by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
WE’VE ALL dealt with pain at some point or another in each of our individual everyday lives. I’d hate to hear anyone trying to deny that they’ve never felt any kind of pain, be it emotional, mental, or physical pain—any kind of pain that is somehow inflicted on people using any kind of medium, is, well, let’s face it…excruciatingly painful.
We all live with some degree of pain and suffering in our everyday lives. Let’s just establish this statement as valid fact right now. It’s not just some willy-nilly opinion. It’s a fact.
It’s true that there are some of us out there in this great big world we call planet Earth that are seemingly more fortunate than others. But that statement aside, we all still live with happiness and sadness, and henceforth, with pleasure and pain as well.
But it’s also rather unfortunate for the multitudes of the broken-hearted to continue to hold onto some sort of pain, even years after the conflict has ended. I also acknowledge that I have not been so easily spared when it comes to dealing with pain either, and I hope and pray that many of you can relate here. Seriously.
I may be just one guy among the crowd, but I also hold onto lots of pain and bitterness here as well.
But this isn’t meant to be a tragic sob story where I’m the ultimate victim and all of you guys have to listen to how depressed I am at the moment.
This is a story about how to overcome years of hurt, years of scars and torment, and years of frustration trying to put up with so much crap in all of our lives.
I still pose the greatest and ultimate question of the universe.
What can each of us, as ordinary human beings, do to stop the pain from hurting us and dragging us down into a deep pit, and is there really a clear-cut solution to this?
I think we all know the answer deep down in our very hearts, minds, and souls that the only way to stop the hurt is to try to let it go. But the process of doing so (or even attempting to do so) is never going to be solved with the rub of a genie lamp, at least not in this reality it won’t. Sorry guys. This isn’t Aladdin. This is the real world, and in the real world, there’s problems to be solved, mysteries to crack and secrets to be revealed.
Although letting go of anything, especially the crappy stuff that life seems to throw at you, can be extremely difficult, I know for a fact that it must be done. It’s been proven time and time again throughout the course of human history and through personal human experiences that the people who fail to try to let go of past hurts and open wounds eventually end up experiencing high levels of low self-esteem, a major lack of self-confidence and motivation to improve themselves, and in more severe cases, life-long depression and even suicide.
I myself, although at times I’d hate to admit this, deal with struggling to let go of my hurtful past as well, but I’m positive that I’m definitely not alone in combating this very struggle.
The fortunate news is that I have found a strong support group throughout the very course of my life—parents, teachers and even close friends and the closest of trustworthy friends—these guys have motivated me to never give up in trying to succeed, whether it’d be in school, or in charting my future college career.
I have long learned from the days since I was a mere little boy who was even unable to walk independently at all until the age of seven that personal success in anything that you strive for has an extremely heavy price to pay, but that the goals that you strive for and eventually accomplish through days, weeks, months, or even years of persistent determination and hard work will one day pay off completely.
But it still takes so much effort to try to get to the pinnacle of personal success.
The same principle applies with letting go of everything—every single hurtful event that has happened to anyone—letting go takes a lot of persistent work.
Moving on from a traumatic and hurtful event, however, is a whole other topic I could go into on another occasion.
While Step One is letting go, Step Two doesn’t have to necessarily be a principle called “Moving On”, so as much as to call it “Living Life Well.”
I think a lot of people develop a strong misconception that whenever they hear the words “Moving On” from something, they automatically equate that notion in their minds with the statement “Completely disregarding the past and everything that has to deal with it, and starting a new clean slate as if none of the traumas that I have previously experienced had never ever occurred in my life.”
This is a blindly false conception that has obviously persuaded many people to believe that after the danger’s over, you’ll end up living “happily ever ever after” in Andalasia, and that Heaven has finally come to Earth.
While that’s a great ideal to strive for (the very reason we humans have long strived for peaceful utopian societies), sadly, reality is not that kind or sweet.
Sorry to burst your bubbles guys.
But nevertheless, believe it or not, there is still hope in reality.
The hope that we all need to know, tell and grasp so badly primarily emerges from personal experiences and surviving the aftermath of a trauma.
Hope comes from seeing old faded scars on your arms and legs after having a bad fall, and needing immediate medical assistance to help heal your broken arms and legs.
Hope comes from stumbling headfirst into the dirt and gravel, the blood and sweat all dripping drop by drop from your forehead onto the ground, and then getting back up despite getting all bloody and sweaty.
Hope is shown in the soldier who comes home weary from war with bullet wounds in his side, and a prosthetic leg to replace the leg that he lost in combat.
Hope is shown in the bussinessman and businesswoman, whose companies have suffered financially over the past few years, and before almost closing down their businesses, the stock prices rise again and investors are pouring in asking for more shares and investing in them as soon as possible.
Hope is shown in the teacher, who, after trying months or even years of trying to get his or her students to enjoy learning the subject in the class they’re enrolled in, finds an innovative way from other mentors to motivate students to take a different approach to learning and teaching.
Hope is shown in the single parent, who, after divorcing with their ex-husband or ex-wife and is left to take care of the kids, still finds his or her greatest joy in raising kids who will appreciate what they have, even in the absence of another parent.
Hope is shown in the preacher, whose church ministry isn’t doing so well, but finds hope and trust in God to get through the hard times, and many months later, takes on the role of preaching to his congregation again.
Hope is shown in the doctor, who, after spending years of studying medical school and graduating, opens up a small clinic but struggles to find enough patients to get the business going until recently, a new medical breakthrough in research gets his patients to start coming in.
Last but not least, hope is shown in students, including one little boy who at one time struggled to crawl and walk, is now walking, running and studying to the very best of his abilities in order to set an example for his classmates as well his high school and beyond.
From laying to crawling, from crawling to standing up and walking, and from walking to achieving, I have not given up on hope on myself either because I know that there comes a time in my life when I can stand up and face my adversaries and not back down and cower in the shadows.
I no longer pity myself as much as I used to in my past, because looking back and looking forward, I can finally see that for the first time in my life as a young adult, the surgeries and the difficulties were all worth it, even if they did have to involve loads of pain and suffering on myself and my folks.
The scars don’t just remind me of a hurtful past, but serve as an even greater reminder of an even brighter future that’s right there in front of me. All I have to do now is to take the proper steps to travel down that road.
So here’s my last faithful piece of advice: Remember that everything you’ve ever done in your life, no matter how painful and grotesque it is, trust me, it will get better and I’m not kidding here either. I’m dead-on serious.
You are a continuous work in progress, a masterpiece molded by the hands and created in the image of a God who made you for a purpose. Don’t ever forget that.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ~ Ephesians 2:8-10 (NIV)
I’m not giving up. Instead, I am going to keep striving and work my butt off, all in the pursuit of finding hope amidst the pain.
I have now found motivation, inspiration and maybe even some innovation to improve myself and the lives of others.
Take care guys. Thanks for all the support.
~ A Fellow Columnist, Josh Chen.