This week has been very traumatic for me.
My neighbour is cutting down a tree that is over 100 years old. And besides the fact that I think that it should be a crime to destroy nature like that, by cutting down that tree, they are affecting the design of my garden, the amount of shade that we have and our privacy.
People have had different reactions to my trauma.
They have varied from people being shocked that I should be traumatised by the loss of a tree to people totally over reacting about it.
Believe me, I have been through some terrible traumas in my life and in the greater scheme of things the loss of a tree is minor compared to some of the other things (like guns, robbers and assault) that I have had to deal with.
So what is a trauma and what is not a trauma?
Truthfully there is no such thing as one trauma being worse than another. It is a matter of perspective – what is terrible for someone could be manageable or even exciting for somebody else.
The one thing that all traumas and losses have in common is that they force change into our lives and sometimes that loss of control or the sense of loss of control is worse than the incident itself.
There is a Yiddish saying (although I think that a lot of other people claim it to be their’s) that goes “Mann traoch, Gott Lauch” – Man plans and God laughs.
I’m not sure if anyone, including God, is laughing at us but the saying rings true because you can have the grandest, most well thought out plans about how your life should be working, and then something comes along and throws those plans right out of the window.
I think that John Lennon said it more accurately when he said that “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans” in his song Beautiful Boy.
While we are planning and trying to control our lives, life happens anyway. Whether we are ready for it or not!
Perhaps we would be a lot happier if we responded to any difficulties or challenges with the attitude that we will allow ourselves to mourn our losses. But once we are done mourning and feeling sorry for ourselves, we will bravely take the path that life is forcing us onto.
And we will travel that path with the hope that something wonderful is going to happen somewhere along that journey.
Open up to that something wonderful because as much as you may not believe it right now, you really deserve something wonderful to happen to you!