When bad things happen in life – big or small, your fault or not – it’a a common refrain to hear from yourself or others, “Just get over it.” Depending on the severity of the situation, it may not be directly said, but there is an implication in society that in order to be strong and independent, we just need to get over things and blaze our own sure-footed path forward.
But I’m not convinced that this is the best option in many cases, or even possible in some instances. Just getting over something implies that it doesn’t or it can’t affect us anymore, and sometimes that is just too hard in the current moment. To get over something means that we turn our back on the problem or the hurt – a hurt that really needs to be faced head-on.
So what’s the alternative?
Are we just supposed to “get under it” and remain in that place of pain and hurt, continually blaming ourselves or others? There are times when staying under it is all that we can do, but in the long run this method doesn’t prove any more productive than ignoring the issue and getting over it. It’s a pit rather than a path forward – and pits become dangerous and deep far too fast.
Life, especially pain and struggle, is like that old book We’re Going on a Bear Hunt – “We can’t go over it. We can’t go under it. We’ve got to go through it!” Through it is the hard way – filled with lots of slogging through messy mud and wading in deep water. Yet by going through it you really experience life – the good and the bad, the guts and the glory.
And that’s what life is really about isn’t it? The journey, the learning, the honesty of having dealt with and overcome obstacles. Anything else is just skimming the surface, and it’s in the deep blue of “through” that the beauty of life lives.
So if you’re experiencing a tough time, don’t cave to the pressure of having to get over it, but don’t let it crush you either. Hold your head high, be brave, and march boldly through.