“Weeping may endureth over night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
– Psalms 30:5
“Joy may come in the morning, but you best believe weeping will endure through the night.”
Though I feel I’m making terrific strides in overcoming the challenges of my recent breakup, some of it is still a little difficult to easily pass over. Without going into all the specifics, my ex committed some SERIOUS infractions on the heart, infractions for which I can’t necessarily blame her entirely, but which also don’t make the situation any less painful for me. The greater society will have you believe that men have an obligation to withhold our feelings – as emotional expressions are typically accepted as a lack of “manhood.” I say that’s bullshit. Humans in general, not just women, were bestowed by our Creator with emotions (good and bad) which define our humanity, not limit it. Those grounds rules being established, I present my final thoughts (at least cybernetically) on this issue.
The motivation for this post, I suppose, lies with a recent conversation I had with a friend regarding my breakup. Before then, I only shared my experience and all of its sordid details with a few of my closest people, and a few of my ex’s (and even that was only to provide the full context of what happened. I recently discovered she was openly giving people an imbalanced account of what happened. I was setting the record straight with those I could). Anyway, during our conversation this friend of mine urged me to focus on the good that came out the relationship and concentrate on how the experience – though ending horribly – helped in shaping my character. I could certainly see and appreciate his perspective. In fact, to an extent I also tend to subscribe to the notion that accentuating the positive things in my life help to assuage the anguish of the more painful things. At the same time however, I would be foolish not to realize that doing so is like trying to pour sugar on a lime. It may be sweet for a moment, but at the end of the day, it’s still a lime.
I’m often quite fascinated by how motivational-types can flash smiles and quote scriptures that successfully lure us from the difficult places in our lives. I’m impressed with their abilities to touch large groups of people and convince them that their real problems have somehow dematerialized right in front of them. I especially appreciate the fact that many of them (but certainly, not all) have a genuine and motivated interest to help people in the healing process. But sometimes I wonder if that’s what we really need. Rather than cheering us up, I sometimes wonder how successful the motivational types would be if they spoke about experiencing the hurt of losing things/people. How different would the message be?
This begs the question: do we really need to discover the cheerful fix to our problems, or should we face our pains head on?
Don’t get me wrong: I think it does us a great deal of good to concentrate our hearts on the good that can come out of our struggles. But I also think it’s dangerous and unhealthy to ignore, reject, or try to sweeten the pains we feel. Instead of flashing our smiles and pretending not to feel hurt, maybe we need to stake claim to the things that hurt us. Our pains, after all, are what make us people. Real people.
Are we to keep our tears set aside until the midnight hour when everyone’s asleep? Do we bottle up our pains until we can release them when we’re all alone? I think so many of us are afraid of sharing our pains because we’ve become disconnected with our sorrow. If a sad song comes on the radio, we change the station. If a sad movie is on, we pop in a comedy. We find more interest in a romantic marriage than we do a messy divorce.
To be sure, I’m in complete support of finding the silver lining in the dark clouds. As I quoted earlier, the Bible reminds us that weeping may endureth for the night, but joy cometh in the morning. But let’s not pretend that just because the morning’s on its way, we get to somehow bypass the night. Pains, I’m learning, will come. There is nothing even remotely therapeutic about keeping it to ourselves, or veiling our pains out of fear of public reprisal. There’s nothing to be ashamed of when it comes to embracing and releasing our pain; particularly if it serves a precursor to our healing. Oppositely, I would argue that it’s our inability to express our pains that is more harmful to us than anything else.
So, I’m laying all my cards on the table now. A full recovery is on its way for me, I have no doubts about that. I’m a strong person and I have an amazing supporting cast of friends and family (including you all, my e-pals). But no point in concealing it: I was hurt. No more denying that.
Thanks for all your support, especially through my healing.