As I mentioned that Cary Tennis said recently, self-understanding is not a luxury; it is a responsibility. But it is also freeing. This is not to say that one cannot get bogged down in self-examination and -analysis, because anyone can. But without it we are merely adrift in a sea of loneliness, heartache and confusion. It is understanding why we feel the way we feel that frees us and allows us to view the situation differently. If we are never granted that glimpse into our own psyche we are subject to our limited perspective -- trapped, depressed, desperate and panicky. And, so, understanding why I reacted emotionally as I did in the months following my job loss has been freeing. I forgive myself for my constant tears and feelings of inadequacy. And understanding why He Who Is In Personal Crisis feels the way he does allows me to view the situation empathetically rather than angrily and judgmentally.
And isn't that knowledge alone pretty humbling?
I'm still "through with suffering," but Laura Munson is right: some days I'm only one step out of it. I'm going to be gentle with myself and decide that that's okay...
Feel free to leave your own experiences and reminders in the Comments section.