” The most beautiful people we have ever known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” – Swiss Psychiatrist and author, Elisbeth Kubler-Ross
Everyone has hurt deeply at some point in their lives. Loss, grief, pain, sorrow, and suffering are part of life and living it fully. Hurting deeply is felt on many levels, physical, emotional and spiritual. Hurting deeply simply hurts, profoundly. Every step we take on our daily journey is carried out with effort, compounded heaviness and ache, usually in the heart space. Breathing deeply, difficult. Ease of mind, fleeting. Spirit broken.
As a health provider in the field of mental health for many years, there are fixed guidelines and rules regarding normal grieving, a timeline of 6 months to a year. In real life I have come to understand these “in the box”guidelines from another perspective. Compassion and understanding shed new light sources upon the matter of hurting deeply, a rainbow of colours, in fact. People are different, experiences unique, grieving personal, depending on many factors such as past, present and cultural circumstances. I have come to understand there is no timeline when it comes to hurting deeply. Deeply hurting permeates the soul, the spirit, the everything. When we can look beyond and into the hurt itself, only then can we be loving still.
Some believe that if a person is hurting deeply, they are no longer capable of loving. Not so. Hurting deeply requires a cocooning period, a time within, for many reasons. Self protection, self care, understanding through quiet and stillness, reflection and transformation into the new landscape of life. Coming to terms. When the hurt is able to finally be released, the butterfly emerges. Transformed yes, but the soul and the essence remain the same. Hurting deeply means you love differently during that time. Why? Because most people have no idea how to comfort the deeply hurting individual, finding it difficult and overwhelming to be in their presence. We squirm, hold our breath, make jokes and light of, wish to escape, feel deeply our own discomfort with grief. Sitting quietly, holding the hand of the other, saying nothing at all, is somehow beyond our capabilities as fellow human beings. We just want to fix them, hope they will get over it soon, so we can all move on. Working with grief and depression for many years, I have witnessed countless relationships where compassion and understanding fly right out the window. And to this day I do not fully understand why this occurs. Not everyone is capable of providing the spiritual nourishment required in times of grief. What I do know for sure is this. Individuals who are hurting deeply, once leaving their cocoon, love more deeply than those who have yet to experience hurting deeply. Emerging into light once again, with new passion and understanding of the journey travelled through grief, their souls have been transformed and their wings carry them further with lightness and speed. Their capacity for loving, profoundly compassionate.
If you have hurt deeply and can rise each day to hear and understand the song of a bird singing in the sunshine on the tops of the trees above, then you are loving still, after hurting deeply. Your capacity to fill your own heart space and give to others, overflowing. To understand, a gift. A wise woman once said to me after becoming a butterfly following hurting deeply, “I have come to understand that all along I was the gift.” These words are now written on my own soul and I am so grateful for being able to hear her words of wisdom and compassion and to share them with you. She is a shining example of someone who has hurt deeply and is so loving still. Know that through it all, you too are a gift to this Universe.