“This too shall pass” is a common truism offered when going through a difficult time, both to others and to ourselves. It really does apply to most situations, though when in the thick of it your heart wins over your head every time. If we can somehow hold on to the knowledge, it does help. Across all levels of constitution, we all seem to understand that even the worst can be tolerated if one day it will be behind us.
But what about the permanent situations that will never revert back to the way they were and we are left with what is? As I think about examples of this: death, an unfixable injury or physical impairment, I realize they all add up to loss. No matter what we believe about the afterlife, when someone dies they won’t be with them again in this human experience. And although there are incredible prosthetics available, a limb lost is gone forever. My optic nerves still exist but the damage is irreparable.
There are an equal number of adages about overcoming lasting adversity as there are about weathering a storm, and I enjoy making lemonade as much as the next person. But when faced with irreversible loss, it’s hard to see past the lemons. I have been through too much to gloss over the time and endless emptiness, the self-examination and the pain, to lead you to believe that adapting and adjusting is as easy as a turn of phrase; any number of my previous posts will show you my bad and my ugly. But when things aren’t going to change back, you will have to change forward. It’s the only way when what we have lost is here to stay.