Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Hasta la vista baby


1 : the capability of a strained body to recover its size and shape after deformation caused especially by compressive stress
2 : an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change

Shit happens. Relationships end, people get fired from their jobs, they get sick, old, they die. Houses burn down, or are destroyed by floods or tornadoes or earthquakes or hurricanes. People move away from everything they know, everyone they love. All kinds of tragedies take place during this amazing experience of living in our human bodies.

Somehow we get over these misfortunes. Well, almost. But even almost is pretty amazing when you think about it. And for those of us lucky enough to be in the right frame of mind, surviving awful experiences brings wisdom. I've written before about how I believe wisdom is gained through hardship. Not knowledge, oh no, knowledge is pretty easy to accumulate, but wisdom? It's a whole other level of learning. Whew!

Human resilience is, according to the cosmology of Reya, part of our survival instinct. If I had been unable to recover from the hardships of my own (very lucky) life, I would no doubt be either really crazy, or dead. As it is, the times when life has delivered a major beatdown have eventually served to help me become smarter, kinder, more open minded, only because I can bounce back, or crawl back, depending on the situation at hand. It kind of blows my mind.

During the past few days my understanding of suicide has shifted dramatically. Now I'm not saying that I actually understand it or anything like that, but I see for the first time that applying the label "bad" or "wrong" to suicide is just one more way I judge the decisions of other people. I am officially letting go of that judgment. One down, a thousand other ways I judge others to go.

I feel lighter and more cheerful today, proof of my human birthright of resilience. L'chaim, y'all!


Pauline said...

if wisdom is the application of knowledge, you're doing fine.

willow said...

The resilience of the human spirit is amazing. I've become less judgemental and mellow over the years, as well. It's a happier way to live.

Jane said...

I love the idea of resilience, Reya, and I love your take on it. I want to adopt it.

glnroz said...

Your views, amuse,(me-good way)

Linda Sue said...

Resilience- adaptability- like those chickens that live in the underpass of the Southern California freeway, rather keeps us on this planet beyond sensabilities. Suicide not always the wrong decision- it just IS- I reckon- like everything else. Not polarized- good/bad...Love this thoughtful post as always, wise Reya, funny Reya- Blogerific Reya!

Elizabeth said...

I have been out of the blog-loop for a few days and so was startled and disturbed and interested by your latest posts.
As far as I can see, suicide is just terribly, terribly sad for everyone it touches.
life to me is such a blessing and a joy but I am a very fortunate person.
I can completely understand that some people's lives are so very difficult and painful either mentally or physically or both
that ending it seems rational.
Mental pain might be almost worse to bear than physical.
Will not go on on this very complicated topic.
love you, Reya

lakeviewer said...

It's part of your perspective, Reya. The way you photograph, for instance. You set up to see to feature certain things, to create with your lens. People like that are constantly creating and yes, with resilience, grace and inspiration.

It's a gift.

Nancy said...

As it is, the times when life has delivered a major beatdown have eventually served to help me become smarter, kinder, more open minded, only because I can bounce back, or crawl back, depending on the situation at hand.

Said so well. I think we need a little shaking up sometimes to humble us, and make us realize there are lessons to be learned here. It's not supposed to be all fun and games. I have found I learn during hard times because I dig deeper. I have also found that learning to not judge others makes me happier - or like you said - lighter. It realeases the ego. Great post, as always, Reya.

Deborah said...


and all my love
from the frozen tundra of the midwest

Reya Mellicker said...

Blogerific Reya? I love that!!

Jane you are the Queen of Resilience, really! I mean it.

And YES, anytime I can remember to lay down the burden of judgment I am the better for it. It's a heavy load to carry around, but I do it anyway sometimes. Sheesh.

Tom said...

it is sad when the young and impulsive end their lives, because they have the possibility of many wonderful ones to come...and a tragically miserable person may with the help of therapy or drugs learn to exist...either way it is no good to blame anyone; like you say, nobody said life was easy--spirit and wisdom may be our best tools for a long happy life.

hope you like winter, because it is steamrolling over the upper midwest and coming your way; and in a hurry.

Steve said...


Whitney Lee said...

That's interesting; I've just posted on something that gives credence to your belief.
As for suicide, perhaps instead of bad or wrong, it's simply difficult. It's difficult for the person who attempts/commits it and it's difficult for all of those left behind. And just because something is difficult doesn't mean it's bad. I like the way you've shared with us the journey you've taken to reach these conclusions.

Gary said...

The cosmology of Reya is timely (for me anyway). Thank goodness we can move on from worry, bad times, tragedy and unfortunate things but I think there is a part of them that lingers on waiting to strike out. Do we ever really get over hurt, worry or loss? Maybe we just distance ourselves from them, gain some perspective but I don't know.

Life is brilliant. Life is brutal. I guess it is with wisdom that we can find a balance that allows us to keep smiling and appreciate the happiness when it comes.

I try not to judge others but how can I not? I judge myself more harshly though so that is something I suppose.

The Bug said...

I was always "justice, not mercy" gal, but living with my wonderfully bleeding heart husband for 19 years has mellowed me considerably. Things aren't just not black or white - they're often not any color I recognize at all. I just need to accept what is & move on.

Reya Mellicker said...

One of my great teachers said that mercy trumps justice; it is the only power greater than justice. Interesting food for thought.

xx to all

Ronda Laveen said...

Amen! Things are what they are. No more. No less!

Mrsupole said...

The saying "With age comes wisdom" is a very hard concept for the young to understand, but once you have aged you totally understand. I do not even think you have to age that much to know this, for with each year of life comes more wisdom.

The one thing that is the hardest for us to learn is to not judge others, as we will also be judged. Sometimes, well actually most of the time, I have to try to not judge what I see other people doing in their lives.

We seem to be one of the most judgemental creatures on the planet. I sometimes think that this has to do with our thoughts of what we think is right and wrong. If we see someone doing something that we consider wrong, then we will make a judgement about that person, even though we may have no clue about that person whatsoever.

We seem to know this is wrong but we continue to do it. And sometimes I worry that as I get older, will I become more judgemental towards those I encounter. I truly hope I do not. I really try so hard not to be judgemental.

I think that if one chooses suicide then I should try to not judge that person's choices. Maybe that was the right choice for that person. I do not know. I may never understand. I can only accept that choice. I know I will always wish I had done something different to have helped that person make another choice. And this is what will make me judge myself is a more harsher way than I will ever judge any other. I need to stop judging myself more than anything.

I have a funny feeling that this is what you have been doing this week and you have finally set yourself free of your self judgement, something that is very hard to do. I really wish that I will someday be able to do this. You have many abilities that I can only strive to someday achieve. I think that your best ability is "to love yourself". Love is the most powerful emotion we can give, but it is also the one we withhold the most from giving ourselves. This too is something I need to learn how to do. I someday hope to be at your capabilities to do this. Oh well, maybe with time......

God bless.

Mrsupole said...

Ummm, it is a good thing I am not too judgmental about my spelling. Another thing that comes with age is CRS...Can't Remember Spelling...oh okay....Can't Remember Shit...but spelling fits in this case.

Geez, I must also apologize for all these long comments.

God bless.