YOU’VE HEARD THE SAYING “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” so often and it is true, though it is a cliche. What nobody says is all that you sometimes have to go thru to get that strength.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…and often angry, sad, deceived, fooled, embarrassed, bitter, confused, ashamed, impulsive, lame, disgusted…but finally, hopefully, smarter, and, yes, stronger. Getting thru all those feelings – variations of the seven stages of grief, really – doesn’t always get easier, no matter how many times you go through really hard shit. You’d think as you get older that the opposite would be true – shouldn’t I have learned something? Why and how did I make the same mistake? Wasn’t my mantra “I won’t get fooled again?” Sometimes, there’s no answer to that, sometimes you can just ignore, deny the answer to that question and rationalize it away. You can blame someone for what happened, or you convince yourself that it’s all your fault. That said, the latter is an easy way to fall into the trap of beating the shit out of yourself, too. For me, it’s hard to not do that, no matter how wronged I may have been. Sometimes blaming someone is just fuel for the anger that you think will make you stronger but for me that burns out and doesn’t last long.
Ultimately though, if the goal to get smarter and avoid the stupid, the wrong and the mistakes can’t be reached, maybe the goal should be to just get stronger, faster. To deal with the bad shit better, to not always go thru all those emotions prior to getting stronger. Just try your best to accept it – to radically accept what happened and move on. The balancing act is to learn and get stronger, but not fall back into rumination & regret, fueled by sadness and anger. So easy in theory, harder in practice, but so tantalizing, too: just accept what happened learn and don’t look back.