Leave and Take

26 Jan

There is a famous line from the movie “The Godfather,” that says, “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.” It’s given just after someone has been murdered and the killers are leaving the scene. Evidently it didn’t matter if the gun was found, but the connoli was treasured and not to be left behind. Although we will probably never be in a situation where we’ll use this same phrase in the same way, there will be times after an experience when there’ll be something we’ll want to leave behind, and something we’ll want to take with us. Every experience in life teaches us something. Sometimes the lesson is easy, and sometimes it’s hard and difficult to navigate. When we’ve been through something difficult, something that shakes us and makes us sad, worried or regretful, it helps to think about what we can learn from the experience and take with us. We don’t need to take the pain and disappointment, and can leave that behind. Every lesson we learn gives us something going forward that will shape us into who we become. Since we’re constantly changing, those lessons are continuous. If we learn all we can each time we struggle and take that with us, chances are we won’t have to learn the same lesson again.

Nobody wants to suffer or be in pain. Pain is our body’s way of telling us something is wrong. Physical pain can often be treated by a physician and medication can take the edge off and make it bearable. Emotional pain tells us something is wrong as well, or that we’ve made a mistake. Unfortunately, there is no medicine that will eliminate emotional pain, and generally we must endure it until we find a way around it. Our friends and family may try to comfort us, and sometimes that helps, or we may try to shake it off and let it go, and sometimes that helps too. But when we’re hurting, if the pain is intense, it can be hard to get through and see that it will end. During those times it’s helpful to think about what we can take away from the experience that may help us going forward. There is always something to be learned, and something to be gained when we’ve been hurt.

It seems that life would be so much better if nobody could hurt us or make mistakes that bring us discomfort. But we are human beings and we aren’t perfect. There is no way for us to be perfect and we’re going to falter. We will all hurt ourselves and sometimes we’ll hurt others either intentionally or accidentally because of choices we make. It’s unavoidable. We don’t know everything, we can’t see the future and sometimes even our very best guesses are wrong. Getting hurt is part of life and although it’s uncomfortable and we don’t want it, if we are wise and try to learn everything we can from our experiences and take all we can learn away with us when we go forward, we’ll be in a better position to prevent the same pain from returning. There isn’t anything we can’t handle. If we focus on what we’re learning when we’re managing problems, we will find something positive in the end. And finding something positive in the depths of sorrow will bring us comfort.

Today if you’re going through a hard time and you’re suffering, try to see the situation objectively and find the one good thing you can take away with you. You will leave this trial behind you in time, and all the pain that went with it. Take away the best part – what you learned from the experience. You’ll become wiser and you’ll feel stronger knowing you have gained something new. You can handle anything that comes. You’re strong and capable. Be confident and go forward learning all you can.

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