After the worst: relief

It is counterintuitive but it’s been my experience that often after the worst thing that you feared might happen happens…

….you feel relief.

If you stop to think about it, it makes sense. You no longer have to worry about whether the worst thing is going to happen or not.

It has happened.

As a person, I’m action-oriented and comfortable in the space of problem solving and crisis management; being in the realm of things gone wrong is much more comfortable than being in the realm of worrying that it might go wrong.

The truth is, there’s practically nothing I can’t handle in reality. I’ve looked unflinchingly, calmly into situations that most people would run from. And done it repeatedly over the years. Talking people out of suicide, navigating worldwide crises threatening millions of people: I’ve done that. Several times. Among other things.  And no, I’m really not exaggerating.

But when we talk about the realm of my fears: well, my fears know me well enough that they can undo me more effectively than any actual crisis in the real world can.

I’ve gotten more practice at this in recent weeks that I would’ve cared to. But it has taught me that I have people that love me and support me more than I thought imaginable. And it has reminded me once more of how truly strong I am and how I can get through anything.

Most of all, getting through this all has given me relief. It’s dispelled fears that have been hampering me for some time.

Rainer Maria Rilke is supposed to have said “Love and Death are the great gifts that are given to us; mostly, they are passed on unopened.” I read “death” here to be not just actual death, but loss and change. I have been sitting looking at these latest gifts of death for sometime. And I have only opened them recently, reluctantly. And in those gifts of death, I find gifts of love as well. And I have opened them too.

Perhaps the greatest gift of love that I have opened in this is the gift of love of myself. As my fears dissipate, I find myself again that me that I love. Even more that me that I love.

More trials that make me more the man I want to be, the gentleman I want to be.

So once again I thank the Universe for testing me, for hurting me, for breaking me that it might reshape me.