"Tragedy stays alive by feeling what's been done to us, while peace comes alive by living with the results." Mark Nepo
This quote from teacher and author Mark Nepo is a beautiful and simple teaching. We all know or have known some tragedy in our life, whether current or past. Tragedy comes in many forms - illness, death, divorce, loss of any form. We know tragedy on the personal level, past and present, and we also experience it on the world level. When tragedy strikes it is a traumatic event. Our lives can shatter, our worlds can fall apart.
Because personal tragedy is often so traumatic, we might feel frozen or numbed in our bodies, mind and spirit by what has occurred. While important to allow the feelings we have about the tragedy to be felt and move through us, it can also happen that we feel victim to to what has "been done to us". When we stay in that feeling of victimization, the tragedy stays alive in us. Every time we say to ourselves "this should not have happened" we fight with reality and there is no peace in fighting with reality.
Here is the thing. The tragedy happened. No one came change that. No fight in our mind can change that. It is painful to face, but that is the truth. When Nepo speaks to peace coming alive by living with the results, he speaks to finding within ourselves acceptance of what is and though we may not like it, we find a way to move on. We let go of our "victim" and we reorganize our lives to live with the results. Whatever they are.
This is certainly some of the most difficult work we can do as humans. The more painful the tragedy, the more difficult it is to find peace on the other side of it. But it is worthy work for in doing so we find more freedom within our own mind and more peace and happiness.