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The A-Hole at the Cemetery

When I lost my brother, I was determined not to lose myself in the bottomless pit of dirty pain.

I committed to grieving CLEAN pain, which meant taking time to truly feel the enormity of the loss. Since there's no gravesite for Troy, I did this privately, walking in nature, sharing my sorrow with the trees.

Eventually, I found myself drawn to a cemetery close to where I live. At its centre is a columbarium with niches that hold the remains of my grandma and grandpa. Beside them are cubbies with the names of my mother and her sisters, whose ashes will be stored there, when they too are gone.

I pressed my fingers to their names, each letter suddenly precious and important.

"Troy's gone," I said. But the moment was interrupted by an explosive, obnoxious sound.

A big-engine muscle car had driven into the cemetery and was tearing around in loops, sending dirt and dust and small rocks flying into the air.

I was outraged.

What an asshole!

I started a hateful narrative in my mind, then stopped.

Did I really want anger to contaminate the sacredness of my grief?

No, I didn't.

As the defiant car tore past again, I considered a different story.

What if the driver had just lost his best friend and this was his good-bye to him?

What if this was HIS sacred moment—his one last joy ride, his one last victory lap, his one last hurrah?

Immediately, my anger and judgement were gone.

The driver made another round, tires screeching, dust flying,

And I found myself cheering for the whirlwind of mad grief and love. There was so much life there. So much physical rawness, so much energy, power, vitality.

I didn't want it to stop.

This is the power of conscious choice, my darling.

It took me from rage to peace in 30 seconds flat.

Trust me, I don't always do this. I have to take care with my interpretations so they don't darken my life.

Have you noticed this? That most of our stories about people, places and events cause unnecessary suffering?

That's dirty pain, my love.

And personally, I think the clean pain of living is enough.

So . . .

If life feels particularly difficult, try telling a different story about your circumstances.

You just may turn an A-hole into a friend.

Sending you so much love,

P. S. I know for a fact that circumstances don't cause as much pain as the stories we tell ourselves about those circumstances. If you're stuck in Dirty Pain, Book A Free Consultation and let's talk about working together.

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