Getting someone’s opinion is often easier than getting answers to problems. It’s really easy to listen to a lot of people’s complaints as well as their grievances. In this day of technology, we look for the simplest solutions to complex problems but what about the problems that aren’t easily solved? We are all wired differently. Sure we have the same classifications of body parts, but that doesn’t define who we are as people. You can’t box up our emotions and what makes us all different in one fell swoop. If anything, we all have things that make us feel joy, sadness, anger, frustration, happiness, contentment, confusion, clarity, and a whole barrage of emotions that make up a whole person.
So what do I mean when I say this? I have three friends all going through various stages in life. One is in her forties. She’s never had kids and will never be able to have children. She knows that having a child would probably kill her physically. That doesn’t take away from her pain but she has accepted the fact that her life will never be that of her other peers. Her boyfriend is a strong supporter of her and although they are polar opposites, they both understand each other. That doesn’t mean that they don’t have their arguments, but at the end of the day they know they have each other’s backs. After all, sometimes we all have to learn to adapt rather than change a person. So what’s her issue? A lot of varying things. She struggles with her own back issues. She’s trying to help a family member who was wrongly accused of a crime get his life back and she’s meeting resistance. She feels helpless at times and wants to bust through the bull that keeps infiltrating their lives. She doesn’t want to go down without standing up for who she is and will defend those that she loves with vigor and tenacity.
I have another friend who is trying to find work right now. She has had more obstacles in her life to overcome than most people have to deal with in a lifetime. She and her husband are also childless. She’s worked in a profession for years that can be extremely cliquish and the worst part is that she’s had health issues that employers have tried to hold against her. Self confidence is an area that she struggles with on a daily basis. At some point, she will have to determine what she really wants to do with her life. Most of us find jobs and not careers. The ideal is to have a career where you can have it all but it takes work and planning. Sometimes, that same planning can go awry. That’s what happened in her case. She now seeks answers to not only what she wants to do but how can she keep her past with her illness from preventing her from having the future she knows she’s worthy of.
Then there’s my other friend. He wants to be with someone so badly that he is afraid to try too much. He’s on the online dating sites. He has a physical disability but he has a heart of gold. He got burned by someone in his past who he trusted. Without giving away too much information on him, he had his freedom, his job, and his reputation stripped from him over something that he didn’t do. How do I know he didn’t do it? His former roommate told me that he (his former roommate) was the one that committed the acts and no one believed it. The reason? This man had been in an accident years ago and was considered disabled. He was actually one of the biggest geniuses I have ever met. He was ruthless and cunning. There were times when he would talk as plain as day and other times he would talk so fast that you couldn’t decipher what he was really saying. His reason for setting my friend up for the crimes was based off jealousy. He made sure that my friend got in trouble for stalking a woman, sending cards and flowers to her on a regular basis, and then making sure that woman got him in trouble with his job and the law. After a few years of trying to rebuild his life, my friend got up the nerve to try to go out with someone else. She lied to the manager of the restaurant we went to and got all of us kicked out instead of telling him that she wasn’t interested. Keep in mind that he only gave her 3 cards in about a years time. I don’t see that as stalking. The issue now? How can he trust his instincts with women when they don’t tell him they aren’t interested in talking to him, much less going out with him? I can’t blame him for being skid dish.
I have things in my own life that I’ve never gotten answers to. There have been times when it came to jobs that I didn’t know why I was being forced out. There’s been relationships where I was ghosted and had absolutely no clue as to why. My point is that many times in our lives, we are confronted with all kinds of things that we will never get the answers to. Sometimes those issues are serious and no matter how much we may crave the answers and understanding, it isn’t meant for us to learn. Life isn’t fair. It’s complex, messy, incredible, painful, exasperating, funny, and intertwined with more descriptive adjectives to describe events that occur in our lifetimes.
There’s something else that I’ve dealt with in my life. I needed answers from someone that I truly loved. I will never know how he truly feels about anyone because he has alienated everyone close to him. He has a complex relationship with his family. He doesn’t like anyone to see him hurt and yet he has no problem letting others hurt because he’s too self involved with his own pain that he can’t and won’t let anyone get to know the real him. He’s one of the most talented men I’ve ever known. He’s funny, sarcastic, handsome, has a great smile, and one of the biggest jokers on the planet who can dish it out but can’t take it. He’s been in pain for a number of years due to an ongoing illness. He recently lost a parent. My heart breaks for him on so many levels but he is not a good communicator. His lack of responses and lack of communication tells me that he doesn’t like confrontation so he hides from the world. He thinks that if he curls up emotionally in a shell he can protect his heart but all he is doing is prolonging the pain. I doubt I will ever truly get the answers I need from him. I am not willing to keep his lack of granting me the answers, keep me from living life. I’m not afraid anymore. I’ve let so many of you and others help give me the confidence to be able to stand on my own two feet and not dwell on what he does or doesn’t do. It’s on him for his actions just like it’s on me for mine.
When my father was finally diagnosed with what would eventually kill him, I wanted answers from the medical community as to why an MRI and CT was not done. Instead the head of the neurology department four years prior had him walk down the hall and then he diagnosed him with Parkinson’s Disease. Not one test had been ordered. The diagnosis was based on assumption and it was cancer all along. I was so angry at the world. How could this have happened? My dad was almost never sick and when he got sick, he was really sick. He wasn’t like me with a weak immune system. No. He was solid. How could the medical professionals get it so wrong? In truth, I will never know what really was going on with the doctor who diagnosed him. All I know is that my dad is gone and he died in a way that no one should have to go. He was fully functioning until he became vegetative. That’s no way to live. He couldn’t talk. He could only squeeze hands. He couldn’t go to the bathroom. His body shriveled up into a shell of the man he once was. I watched my father deteriorate before my eyes and there was nothing I could do about it. I can do things about it now. I learned a lot about cancer and brain tumors. I can help educate people about the kinds of things to look for. I can point them in the direction of medical help they may need. I can also educate them about the importance of doing research and obtaining answers that they may not have gotten just from a few conversations with professionals. Arming ourselves with knowledge is never a bad thing.
Whatever answers you may be seeking to things that are affecting your life, I hope that you remember this. We aren’t always meant to know why things happen, but we don’t have to let the bad things in our lives make us feel that there is nowhere to go. In fact, life often takes us in opposite directions. Ask questions. If you don’t know what to ask, research them. Talk to people in your life who can help you focus and find ways to exert your energies into something positive that will help you have a more fulfilled and enhanced life. If you are religious, look for comfort and answers in your faith. If you aren’t religious, that’s okay. Do the things that you feel are necessary for you to move on. I’ve heard the saying to “not dwell on the past.” That’s often easier said than done but if you are willing to change your focus, sometimes the answers present themselves without you ever having to lift a finger. We are all rising up into a new world. I don’t know the answers to what lies in store for our futures. I do know that if we all keep communication and listening open, we might just be amazed at the stories we learn along the way.