Adam Crawford takes a deep look into the darkness of loss, and asks how to find the light.
Heart thumping, mind racing, hands shaking, you feel like the world is dark–like the world forgot about you.
You feel as if each day brings some new way for the world to take and not give.
You feel as if there is nothing you can do to shed light on your situation–but there is.
As a person living on a planet with 7 billion people, you may not have control of everything that happens to you. But you do, and always will, have control of what you learn from it and how you move forward.
2014 has been a really tough year for me and my family. There’s no way to describe how badly I wish I could turn back the clock, even if for just a moment. But I also know that too much time spent thinking about it will only lead to darkness.
I want to think about all of the things I could have done differently. How I might could have prevented her getting sick, or at the very least not been gone for the 8 months I was gone. But each scenario leads to the same result–it’s out of my hands.
There is a good chance whatever you’re dealing with that’s holding you back was, or is, out of your hands as well.
Overcoming the most traumatic of events in our lives does not mean we forget, in fact, I’m begging you to do the opposite. I’m begging you to remember, and learn, and let go of what you can’t control.
Losing a child is more than an obstacle, it changes everything. Included in that everything is how you feel about pregnant couples, or new babies, or married couples in general. It changes the lens you look through. Sometimes it incites anger, and that’s not fair to those people–but it’s the truth.
Let’s think about life as if it were a basement.
Your basement likely doesn’t have many windows, if any at all, and it probably has a set of stairs that lead down into the colder, darker part of your house. Your basement is likely more dangerous to go down into then, say, walking into your living room…
Life can seem like you’re walking down into the basement with a floor covered in bear traps. You can’t see where you are going and the next thing you know your ankle is…well, you get the drift. Each step has the potential to be catastrophic.
When you see life in this way, it’s going to seem like the world is covered in darkness.
I understand what it’s like to feel this way. In a matter of hours my entire life was flipped into a oblivion. I went from fighting the war on terror to fighting for my daughter’s life with both arms tied behind my back. But there is light in even that.
Because also in those moments I had clarity. Clarity that no matter what I want out of life, nothing matters more to me than my wife and kids. Nothing. And if we step back and look at those events in our lives that have created this sense of darkness, there is light. It just may require you to open your eyes.
When you walk into that basement we were talking about do you close your eyes as you’re fumbling for the light switch?
Probably not. But why not?
You likely keep your eyes open because you’re searching for the source of the light–the switch.
Life is like a dark basement. We never know what it might hold, there could be dangers lurking at the bottom of the steps. But as you take those steps down into the darkness in a basement, you don’t give up in your search for the light.
So the question remains…
Why do we do so in life?
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Photo: Flickr/Sirius Rust
This post originally appeared on the authors blog.