When bad things happen, some people of faith tend to say, “Well, that wasn’t God; that was just a bad thing happening.”
Holocaust, dead babies, friends overdosing: Not God. Just happenstance.
To try to integrate trauma into a worldview that includes a benevolent power underlying all, one must, according to some, reject the trauma as a part of the benevolent power’s purview.
Now, granted, one might imagine that an all-powerful being would probably have the authority to have a hand in such things. But for the case of some arguments, we’re told, Shit happens.
Awakened in me, or at least uncovered in me, recently is a boatload of anger. A feeling of betrayal by some power in the Universe that just as I was beginning to come out of the trauma of a history dotted with: abuse, neglect, rape, alcoholism, pauperism and solitude: that it would be then that my blood would suddenly turn to cancer inside me.
However, in order to feel a betrayal, I must believe that it was personal. Or, if not personal, that there was somehow a fairness or order in the Universe that was reversing on me.
And, I can’t. I can’t anymore believe that I’ve been betrayed because it is upsetting the fabric of my nature.
To think, Okay, now I have to go through trauma recovery around cancer on top of all the rest I was dealing with, makes me feel hideously resentful and angry and frustrated, and in the end, hopeless.
Because if things are going to abruptly turn to a pit of fire at any given moment, what’s the point? What’s the point in healing, helping, creating, being?
And I can’t have that. I can’t be someone who carries around the question, What’s the point?
It’s very bad for me.
So, what if I try something different, for even a day? Car won’t start? Shit happens. Find a penny on the sidewalk: Good shit happens. Cancer recurs and I have to transplant my bone marrow by shearing away the essence of my body? Well, Shit Happens.
I dunno. Doesn’t sound realistic to me. But, then again, what does?
Do I just assume good things will happen to and for me, and wash aside the traumas? I am someone who believes that repression and white-washing doesn’t actually work, so what if you just reject it, instead of repress it?
If I begin to believe that I’m someone who can have stability, joy, purpose, fulfillment, connection and ease… well, anything that doesn’t fit with that worldview just file under “Not God”?
And here’s the rub with the whole “God,” Higher Power, Benevolent Force, Life Itself, Universe shit:
I happen to belong to -- and had my life saved by -- a group of people who say that in order to not drink yourself into oblivion and become a tornado in the lives of others … you need a “spiritual solution.”
So, what if. What if just for a day (because hey, it’s a day I fought the fuck hard for anyway), I just assume and walk about and believe that good shit happens? That I have good luck. That I am destined to fulfillment in my work and romantic life.
What if I let my anger and betrayal and hurt and aghastness rest… not shoved away or down, but just set into an open box called, “Shit Happens”?
Meh. It's worth a shot.
Meh. It's worth a shot.