Lately I’ve been telling myself this quite a bit. I’ve discovered that it helps me accept life, accept the things going on around me, accept the things that happen to me or have happened to me and even accept myself and my own weaknesses.
It’s alright if someone is mad at me. It’s alright.
It’s alright if someone hurts me. It’s alright.
It’s alright if I’m not the person I wish I was. It’s alright.
As I say this to myself, I don’t mean that everything is good or even neutral. What I mean is that I accept it. I can’t control it, so I accept it.
Sometimes I think “It’s sad if someone does this, but it’s alright,” or even “It’s tragic if someone does this, but it’s alright.”
How can it be alright? How can suffering ever be ok? I might say, “It just is. I don’t know how.” I might also say that I have learned that people, all people, have an incredible capacity to deal with sadness, tragedy and trauma.
I can’t stop the suffering in Syria. I can’t help the child who is abused or neglected by their parents. I can’t end hunger. I can’t stop natural disasters. I can’t take away the pain I see in people every day. I can help a few people who are suffering. I can hug a child. I can ease a small amount of others’ pain, but I can’t end it.
The other thing I can do is know that no matter how awful things are, no matter how much people suffer, no matter how much I myself might suffer in the future, we can do it. We are human beings and human beings can. We get through it somehow. If we survive, there will be better days ahead. If we don’t survive, well, it’s alright.
People made it through slavery. People made it through genocidal acts of war. People made it through the murderous torture of concentration camps. People have made it through unimaginable trials that never even made it into the history books or the news.
They did it. They made it through. Everyone can. The tragedies that have happened and still happen were and are horrible. They are awful. They have been more painful than anyone could ever understand and words seem a totally inappropriate medium to express the horrors some people have experienced, but they did it. They came through. They could and we can.
It’s alright. It’s awful, unimaginably awful, but somehow it’s alright. I don’t know how. I just know it is.
I can control some things in my life. I can control a few things in other people’s lives. I can always do little things. Sometimes I can do big things. When I can help, I will. If I can’t, well, it’s alright. Somehow.
I don’t manage to think this way all the time, of course. When I can manage it, I do feel better. When I can’t, well, it’s alright.