I can moan, I can groan and I can feel like lead. Been there, done that. Plus, I even have a real hard story to live with (if you choose to see it that way)- check www.tuffelstory.com for more details-I live the with insecurity of my son’s health/life as he’s missing a vital organ. We spend a lot of time in hospital. I haven’t slept through the nights for the first 2years having to get up up to 15times a night. They told me I couldn’t work again as care demands would be too high. Just to give you a context for my ability to feel frustrated. Oh and I used to work in the entertainment industry- a great school of frustration and prime University of rejection.
But last week I realized: I’ve never had a bad day in my life. And I doubt you have. What brought this sudden insight was watching the movie “lone survivor’. It’s a movie about the biggest loss of navy seals in one mission gone awfully wrong since worldwar 2. I don’t like war, I don’t like war movies and the only thing I knew about navy seals was that they were fit. But I have a male partner. And I was bored and tired so let’s watch this movie then. After all it shows the deeply humbling side of an Afghan tribe risking and sacrificing family and friends for one soldier. That’s worth looking into. Thomas warned me “it’s not a film with a happy ending”. I thought why? It’s called lone SURVIVOR. “Yes” says good old Thomas. “LONE”.
I don’t know if Lone Survivor is a great movie or not, and quite frankly that is not my concern. I want to share the amazing insight it brought me. As their mission starts to go pear shaped and the soldiers are struggling to survive, I could feel myself thinking “what for? what are they fighting for? They won’t win” I could feel my sense of giving up. If I was there, I’d want to take myself out of this situation. Usually I wake up at this stage of the dream. But this movie is based on a true story, for the original guys this wasn’t a dream. There was nothing better to wake up into. Being in unknown Afghan territory fighting a loosing battle hoping for the others to arrive (who then get shot down in one fell swoop).
So here they are fighting and struggling to survive and getting shot and having to jump off a cliff, their bodies bashing against trees and rocks. Breaking limbs and blood spraying out of orifices that weren’t there before.
Again I’m thinking, gee I couldn’t do that. This is just not going right. As the film progresses, there is only one survivor hence the title. He’s got a broken back in several places, at least 8 shot wounds, a blade in his leg, you name it, his comrades have all died (19 of them). He has no food or drink.
Thomas and I said to each other: wow that was a really bad day!
I have never ever experienced anything close to that level of pain, sacrifice and hardship. And I sincerely hope I never will.
And all the dramas and pain and hardships I’ve endured, I don’t want to dis-acknowledge my processes here- I’ve been through the mill again and again and I’m sure that part continues-but really, most of the experiences we judge as hard, aren’t hard. It all depends on where you set your bar.
I can get anxious about choosing the “wrong” wall colour. I hear some people loose sleep over light switches not matching their curtains. I stress out when I’m rushed. So what if I raised the bar? If I compared to the Lone Survivor day- that’s all minor. Even going to hospital bluelighted in an ambulance in the middle of the night with vomit all over me. I can get caught in the drama or I can rest in the assurance that we are as best taken care of as possible. Feeling lucky to live in a society where we care so much. And have so much support.
Even my beloved weather sensitive man shifted powerfully: the next day it rained cats and dogs. Usually that spins him off into some moany sermon about why he’s so low and bored and how he needs to do even more meaningful things in his life and why he can’t. But not after this insight. He smiled, was upbeat. All day. I was astounded. After all it’s a “fact” that the sunshine “makes us happy” and bad weather tends to get us down, right?
Well he was so happy about how easy his life was. “I’m having such a good time. What a great life I’m having!”
We don’t need to judge our challenges quite so dramatically. A day where everything seems to go wrong really doesn’t have to be “bad”. It’s just one of those days with things going off course. It could be funny.
I’m not saying you have to give up your bad days. I wouldn’t do that to anyone. Maybe you still have “a nightmare of a day” but maybe you have a very mild version of nightmares.
In all cases, I’m wishing you a good day. May you enjoy this life you are living, too.