A friend once said to me, “You don’t know the tragedy of my life”.
I was perplexed when I read those words in the text message. For the several days which followed after, I wondered what really could be the ‘tragedy’ of her life? At that time perhaps, I was too naive or young to understand that such a thing exists very commonly. I thought of all the worst case scenarios that could possibly cause a person to utter such a grave,odd statement.
It is only until recent few months or a year that I understand what she meant. I don’t know the real reason why she said that and I’m way too shy to ask such a personal question but here’s what I deduce about that sentence:
When someone often refers the word ‘tragedy’, what comes to our mind is a serious calamity, a mishap, perhaps a death. What does not really strike us is the possibility of that word surrounding the sentence: “It’s all in your head”. What if that tragedy is not physical but metaphysical? What if it doesn’t scar our bodies but our minds and souls? What if it doesn’t cause us pain but numbness? What if it’s our mind convincing us that THAT is a TRAGEDY. Period. You can do nothing about it. Not today. Not ever.
The way I see it, each one of us have our own tragedy(s) of our life, whether visible or unknown to others. It could be a heartbreak one could never forget, or a dream which could possibly be never fulfilled or a death of a loved one; the examples are endless. But what really matters concerning a tragedy is how we DEAL with it. How we describe it. Do we keep calling it a tragedy even after years later or do we name it as a part of our foundation, the reason which makes us US. Do we allow that tragedy to make us empathize with the ones around us or do we wallow in self-pity. Do we cause it to build us or do we keep allowing it to break us.
Maybe it is all about perception. Maybe it requires cognitive shifting. Maybe we’re all still struggling to overcome our tragedies. Maybe all we need is time.
// featured art from my art journal