Why does life hurt so much?

I saw a search term on my site that said “life hurts too much”.  My heart went out to this person because I know EXACTLY how he or she feels.  I have known many hard times and disappointments in my life. It seems like I am cursed or blessed (depending on how you look at it) with feelings that run very deep. I feel things, all things, very intensely. When I love, I love hard.  When I hate, I hate with evil vengeance. When I am emotionally hurt, it seems that I can actually feel my soul bleed.  When I am happy, I feel what heaven must be like.  Before medication and therapy when I felt depressed, I could feel the hand of death wrapped around my heart, my mind, my being.  I physically felt an ache deep inside me that I could not touch or even describe from where it emanates.  It just felt  like an auger boring through the center of me, tuning slowly, not slicing my insides, but ripping them slowly from sinew and tendon.

I lost my first friend at the age of 16. His name was Joe and he was a hard partier, like the rest of us. He hung himself from a pine tree in the back yard of his house. He too was 16.

I worked on a farm in high school with a kid for two summers.  Him and his brother were out drinking and scattered their car through a grove of trees.  That poor woman lost two sons that night.

Kurt got in a fight with his girl friend and got drunk, passed out while driving, and hit the only fucking tree in that field.  It was clear 300 yards in either direction. He rarely drank and he was active in his church and worked with kids.  He was a beautiful human being.  Why did he have to go?  Why was he taken?  He was found dead at the schene by his friend Earl.  Some years later Earl and some others were killed in a car accident….hit by a drunk driver.

Scott passed out drunk in his garage with the door down and the car running. Was it an accident or did he kill himself?  We will never know.

Tom put a shotgun to his head.

Another Tom drank antifreeze in his work truck. I had seen him weeks before…he said life was good…then he was dead.

A girl I dated died from some kind of brain tumor.

Kerri walked into the living room to sit down with her new baby, her husband came in a few minutes later and she was dead…brain aneurism.

I sponsored a girl from Africa since she was 9. My contributions helped her to go to school and have some things that we take for granted. The sponsor organization called me last year and said that at the age of 18, she went into the hospital for headaches and never came out. Her last letter to me was so full of hope and joy….then she was gone.

My cousin Brian had kidney disease. He always would say “you wait till I get my kidney, then I will be…..”  He always had dreams of what it would be like once he had a transplant. His whole life he endured that fucking dialysis and the vomiting and the teasing from the worthless waist of life fucks that teased him because of his size and distended stomach. He endured it because he believed that once he got his kidney, that would all change.  He had 2 transplants, both failed.  He gave up the fight in his late 20’s.  I wish I could have been there just once when one of those kids were teasing him.  God, the things I would do.

When me and my ex-wife  were 26, her mom stopped by to say hello.  Less than 24 hours later I had to watch my ex-wife give permission to the doctors to take her mom off life support.

Those are just some of the deaths that hurt.

I took my dad to the hospital when he had his stroke; it was just me and him. I watched him go from being able to walk to being paralyzed permanently in a period of about 6 hours. That man was and still is my hero. It has been 11 years now he has had to endure that situation. It breaks my heart. He is happy as ever.  Crazy.

When the economy crashed, I had two successful businesses at the same time. I lost both of them and had to claim bankruptcy.  I took home over 6 figures in 2005.  In 2008 I took home just over 15,000 dollars.

I won’t even get into my childhood.

Life does have a lot of pain and it does hurt.  No doubt that it is hard for some of us just to be alive, me included.

But even with all that said, there is still so much beauty and hope that this life can offer.  Unfortunately it does not offer limitless tomorrows. They are numbered. Sometimes we just need to hang on till tomorrow and things will get better. Sometimes that is all we can do….we just have to hang on.

But eventually we have to make our minds up to move on from the pain we have experienced.  Sometimes we have to say “today is the day I start to rebuild a better happier life, not tomorrow, today.” I think one of the key ingredients is learning to accept things as they are until you can change them.  Decide to be happy in spite of current circumstances.  Endure them until you can change them. While you’re enduring them, make the best of it. But, at the same time, do not give up the fight or desire to change them for the better. It is a fine line to walk, but you have to live with what you have today, and work for what you want tomorrow.

Look at things differently. If your job sucks, it doesn’t mean that your lunch hours, evenings, weekends, and holidays have to suck as well. There are 168 hours in a week. Why do you have to let 40 of them ruin the other 128?  For that matter, why does every minute of your job have to suck?  I don’t particularly like my job, but I have to ride it out for a while, and when I honestly evaluate it, there are a lot of good times during work hours. I also have the best boss a person could ask for and that makes the job much easier to deal with. I am sure that if you evaluated your work situation, you would find it is  not all bad either.

We have to watch our expectations. We have huge expectations and when life falls short of what we expected, we feel pain. We need to lower our expectations and be more realistic about what we want and what we expect of other people.  Don’t get me wrong, if you want to be a writer, pop star, doctor, or whatever your dream is, then work for it and never quit. But don’t EXPECT that once you accomplish that goal, life will magically be easy and all sadness and trouble with forever more be gone.  It won’t.

We have to look for the good and happiness in each day.  Sometimes when we are in pain, or we are in situations that we don’t like, we evaluate our WHOLE life based on just that one thing.  Your job sucks, not your life.  You broke up with someone, your heart is broke, but your whole life is not pointless without that person. You are still all the things that make you..you.  The point is, that not every single moment and aspect of your life has to be painful just because one part of it is.  If you evaluate your whole life based on just one thing that is painful, then all of life WILL be pain.  I know, I have done it.

I learned that you have to compartmentalize events, feelings, and emotions.  You can’t let one thing that has gone wrong, or even 5 things that are going wrong decide your entire existence for you. You have to remember your assets.  You have to take your strengths and build on those, or rebuild on those.

I know that I am a hard worker, so I found a job and have been working side jobs to rebuild financially. I was able to give the kids a good Christmas. My boy is still able to play hockey. I have been covering all the unexpected things that break. It is tough, really tough, but I am making it.

I know that I have a “never quit” spirit. So I keep fighting the low feelings  I win most of the time. I can even act OK when I am feeling down. I still have the feelings, but I am learning to not let them control my behavior. I fail sometimes, but most of the time I win.

I miss the people that I have lost, but I know that this life is for the living and that you have to move on. We all have one life to live. We can’t live it for someone who has gone. I have seen so many people go from being full of life to being a shell of what they once were because they lost someone. I am not judging them, it is a hell of a thing to lose someone and I have not lost someone like my wife or a child. But I would like to think if I did, I would remember that a life can still be forged and even enjoyed. I have seen people do it. I would like to think I would be one of them.

I know that I am a dreamer so I work hard to make those dreams come true. One is having one of the best blogs about self help. I work on it every chance I get. I put at least two hours a day into it.  I want to help others feel good, and truly live. I want to give them the tools that I have learned to overcome what life throws at you.

I know that I can persevere through hard times.  So I went back to school full time.  Fully realizing how hard it would be to work, work side jobs, maintain family responsibilities, work out, blog and take care of the things around the house.  But that is exactly what I am doing.  Again, I also knew I was a hard worker.  So I keep putting in the work.

Those are examples of building on my assets.  You can do the same thing. You can change your perception of life, your circumstances, and the amount of pain you feel if you make it your mission.  You have to decide if you are willing to just lie down when things go bad, or if you are going to fight.  I prefer to fight. I am willing to fight till the day I die. I don’t want to look back on my deathbed and say “I quit”.  Even if I never really got anywhere by maintaining the fight, I could die OK with that as long as I kept fighting.  I am also a realist and I know that if you work hard and keep up the fight, good things ALWAYS come from that. Maybe not exactly what you want or expected, but good always comes from work and fighting against the negative.

So accept what you can’t change until you can change it.  Always strive to change it.  Don’t let one or a couple of bad things in your life affect your entire life. Watch your expectations. Look for the good and happiness in every day.  Build on you assets. Work your ass off.  Lie down for nobody, and keep fighting for a better life.  I don’t know far you will go, or what you will accomplish, but I promise you  if you do those things it will be better than it is now and the pain will lessen.

61 Comments

  1. READ THIS I find positive thinking to be a form of denial. Saying everything’s fine when it’s not, is a lie. Trying to justify horrible things through God or hope is irrational. If your arm is broken, walking around saying your fine is insane right?

    We do know that terrible things happen all the time. I say “bring it on.” It’s the truth, and there’s no running and hiding from it. YOU are the one who suffers, so EMPOWER YOURSELF and face it bravely. Things are always scary, but YOU can stand up against ANYTHING. You’ll lose your fear, largely disempowering the things that hurt you, you’ll become spiritually tough, and you’ll know that it’s for real and YOU did it. You don’t ever need to pray, hope, beg, grovel, or believe. YOU WILL KNOW. TRUST IN YOUR OWN POWER. YOU CAN DO IT. ALL BY YOURSELF.

    • Hi Jack,
      That was a very passionate post. No one does anything all by themselves. It is a myth. You had people teach you things you don’t even realize. There are inputs and nurture in your life you are not thinking of. Maybe you saw a movie that made you say you can do anything by yourself. If you did…guess what, you did not do it by yourself, the movie aided you in your thinking. Maybe you tried other things and determined you were going to do it on your own. Guess what, the other things motivated you to do so. You did not come out of the womb just knowing how you wanted to handle things. Others have motivated you along the way. It is good that you have met those that have made you tough. I just want to point out that know one is entirely an island on to themselves. But your passion is contagious. I disagree with the fact there is no higher power or that a man can survive without help. That being said, I like the fight in you.

      Best wishes for you,

      Paul

  2. Paul, thanks for making this blog and opening your heart. Your experiences resonate with me, and it helps to know that I am not the only one feeling down sometimes. The changes in your life give me hope for myself. I have gained a better perspective about my life by reading and thinking about what you have expressed. I have read every article and comment on your site. Stay in the fight!

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