people standing on pavement during rainy day

There’s Nothing Wrong with Everything Being Wrong

One of the things I love most about this website, apart from the short commute, is that it is brimming with people looking for a more nourishing and kinder life for themselves and others. I applaud that. I’ve drawn inspiration from it. And I hope we all continue to.

Only problem is that sometimes people, in the their pursuit of happiness and the happiness of others, are reluctant to admit when life isn’t especially good. A positive outlook is more than important; I’d argue it’s essential to get along in the world with anything approaching happiness. But I sometimes prefer, when something is hurtful, infuriating, or inescapably sad, to call it as it is.

Life is unfair, always. Sometimes its unfairness plays out in your favor, and other times it tramples over you. I’d like to believe it evens out, but that belief denies the very fact that life is unfair. And there are moments – moments, mind you – in which not trying to find the positive is actually immensely freeing. There are some times, and those times come around more often than people would care to admit, there isn’t anything worthwhile to say. There is no silver lining. I’m not advocating we go into each of our days thinking this, but I think perhaps that wisdom is an admixture of kindness, forgiveness, and honesty.

And it’s that last one we sometimes don’t pay enough attention to. The downsides of honesty are legion, if we’re, well, honest about it. That’s why examples of it can require such courage and provoke admiration. And sometimes honesty will not permit a sunny spin on events. There are times when the way to get over something isn’t to find an upside; it’s to acknowledge there isn’t any upside. If you feel determined to find a virtue in every heartbreak, like a tool that’s being used indiscriminately, virtue itself is going to start to seem dulled a bit around its edges.

Please don’t think I’m knocking optimism. I’m only an amateur one myself, but I’m determined to improve. But I think we sometimes dilute the effectiveness of it by applying it universally.

Sometimes the best person doesn’t win. Sometimes the best person does and it isn’t you. Sometimes people stop loving you, or you stop loving them, and it feels as if you’re a mute witness to both of those events. Sometimes you need to wear that for a while before an application of happy thoughts can do any good.

Sometimes it’s best not to try to escape the pain. Let the healing begin!

22 thoughts on “There’s Nothing Wrong with Everything Being Wrong

  1. You know what I love about your writing, Jack? Aside from everything? That you manage to put in words what I’ve spent half a century learning. You are absolutely right – we can’t heal our wounds until we clean them and let them see air. Whether they weave together in some sort of learning and narrative may happen – but probably only after we’ve felt them all the way through. Right. Let the healing begin indeed.

  2. Not winning is the hardest part, facing the truth of someone else going for gold is somehow less than optimistic, you can call it whatever you want but it sucks to be a loser, I’ve been there, it’s not fun.

  3. There have been many times in my life that I’ve been hoping for something that will never happen. Speaking as a depressive here; people often say that the world is fair if you work hard… Sure work hard but the world isn’t going to be fair about it, you just got to keep on trying until something works.
    Losing sucks and unfair a fair amount of time but it won’t stop us from trying different methods.

  4. Mmmhmm…yes. Sometimes we ‘helper people’ call what you’re talking about ‘sitting with the pain’. It may not look productive, but it certainly can be…especially if the peeps in the peanut gallery (those who desperately want to remedy what ails us) exude well-intended but toxic positivity…dismissing feelings…sometimes (I say) in a way that’s a reflection of their own discomfort…with discomfort. Geez. I hope you could follow that, Jack. 😉

    1. Hi Vicky, everything you say here speaks to me. I think for awhile I fought against admitting that I have a chronic illness and so many things in my life had to and still might have to change. In trying to stay overly positive, I ended up in a sort of no man’s land. But learning how to sit in “the suck (lol)” has helped me to accept – most of the time – that it is what it is. And also, to try and be grateful for what I do have.

      1. Oh, Belle — thank you so much for sharing that. Truly. I always want to be careful with my opinions because everyone’s experience is their own…but I feel every bit of what you just shared. Yes, yes — learning how to move through…find our way to gratitude. Thank you for all of that… I’m sending a big, big, hug. 🥰

  5. You are right Jack life is unfair sometimes and what I find absolutely true is your concept of wisdom as an admixture of kindness, forgiveness, and honesty.

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