Sometimes it can really look like it’s the end of the world and things can’t get any worse for us. And that can be something different for each one of us. For one person it might feel like their friends “end of the world” is easy to deal with, however because their own situation feels personal to them in that moment, it can look like hell.
I was reading a book last night, about a young girl who was in a home run by nuns, and she was writing a letter about her experience. It was quite harrowing and I would think that most people would agree that it seemed like the poor girl got treated really badly. I was in fact crying when I was reading it, as I could feel the girls experience and I was putting myself in her shoes.
I’m going to share a bit of it here for you….
“After she had finished scalping my hair, she beat me with a belt, then opened a door in the floor and pushed me into the hole underneath it. I screamed and begged her to let me out, but she closed the door and locked it. As I lay there in the pitch black, I heard the tapping of her shoes across the floor before she turned out the light, left her office and locked the door.
She left me there for 14 hours, with no food and no water, in a space so small I couldn’t lift my hand to my nose to scratch it. I had never stopped to think what it would be like to be buried alive, but the first thing that happened to me was I had an attack of sheer panic. I started to scream, kick and push frantically at the door above me, until I realised I was sealed in tight. My breathing became very fast and shallow, until I was sucking air in and out so fast I became dizzy, my mind spinning inside a space I couldn’t move in. The more I panicked, the less air there was for me to breathe. It was only when I forced myself to think of my baby Rose that I managed to gain some sort of composure. As I remembered her tiny fingers, her button nose, her blue eyes, I was able to calm myself. Breathing slowly in and out until the hours somehow passed. It was the longest night of my life and I’ve no idea how I got through it”
A few things really struck me after reading this….
Firstly, this is obviously a book and a story that someone has made up. However the girl in the book clearly didn’t really know anything about how our experience of life is created. Yet somehow there is a system behind life looking after us. She didn’t need to know, something bigger and greater than her was at play, giving her a whole load of new thoughts to help her get through and feel calmer. Whether we know this or not is irrelevant, the system is still going to keep working for us.
Resilience and wisdom are always there inside of us, we will always bounce back up. Wisdom will always have her way with us and guide us back and help us. Her experience in the hole kept changing, and even though it can look like hell to go through this kind of ordeal, with no food and no water the girl survived, and was ok.
Secondly (how it reads to me anyway) is that she connected to love. By thinking about her daughter, and even if that maybe momentary, when love is at play, the hurt drops away. She calmed right down when she thought about her beautiful baby. She knew somewhere inside that it was more helpful to her and her baby to be in a calmer head space.
Lastly, although it was obviously not a nice experience the girl was going through, I also felt sorry for the nun who was inflicting the pain. To want to be anything other than compassionate and loving toward someone means you are in a lot of pain yourself. I know that’s what I do when I feel that way inside of me. We are all up against the same thing. The more we can see and remember this, the more we will naturally feel compassion and love for others when they are in pain, whether mental or physical.