Going Through It
There’s a children’s song called “Going on a Bear Hunt” that I find has relevance for us adults. (The song has many variations: sometimes it’s a lion hunt, sometimes a vampire hunt, but the idea and moral are always the same).
In this call and response song the participants come across different obstacles that must be surmounted on their quest. (As this is a kids song, the actions taken are often grossly pantomimed – I am certain you can imagine as you read along.)
Goin’ on a bear hunt (repeat)
I’m not afraid (repeat)
Got a real good friend (repeat with hugs)
By my side (repeat)
Oh, Oh! (repeat)
What do I see? (repeat with looking out)
Oh look! It’s tall grass (repeat with waving arms)
Can’t go over it (repeat)
Can’t go under it (repeat)
Got to go through it (repeat and pretend to go through tall grass)
The song continues and the children come across mud, a bridge, and a pond as they continue their hunt journey. And, at each obstacle, the refrain is the same: Can’t go over it, can’t go under it, have to go through it.
There is a great spiritual lesson in this song: we can’t avoid parts of life – we have to go through them.
I know we would rather not have to feel our sadness or our anger. Who in their right mind, if they had a choice, would choose to feel negative emotions?
Many people, contrary to the lyrics of the song and contrary to the spiritual religious life lesson, choose to tuck those feelings away and try not to feel them.
And, even after life has taught these adults time and time again that there is no way they can avoid these feelings – many adults try to keep from going through them.
Just like the song has many versions, there are many ways this spiritual truth is encapsulated for adults.
Robert Frost, the great American poet, said, “The best way out is always through.”
Winston Churchill said, “When you find yourself going through hell, keep going.”
And, recently I got an e-mail from a reader who said she was once chided: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I need not pitch a freaking tent there.”
We all face things that we don’t wish to face. There are issues in our lives; things that we don’t want to care about that just sit there – right in our way. As the song says, you can’t go over, you can’t go under, and you can’t go around these things. The only way out – and the best way out – is through.
I’d like you to think about whatever issue it is that you have in your life that is in front of you. Sometimes these issues are like post-it notes that have been on the wall for so long that we no longer see them – but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. Face it. Do it.
This week’s #wisdom_biscuit:
Have courage. Go through it.