Performing “Over It”

I have an interest in everyday suffering- Everyone who exists has experienced suffering. In the culture I live in, you’re not supposed to suffer. It’s expected that you might be sad for a few days, maybe a few weeks. Death, heartbreak, transition and loss are something to move past. There is a huge “happiness” movement with affirmations and methods to feel better faster. Can we rush past suffering? or are we just pressing it down and giving an elaborate “over it” performance to make others around us feel more comfortable?

Seeing those around us suffer creates a feeling of unease, or even sometimes disdain (“Why can’t she just get over it already!”). We relate and connect with suffering and it reminds us of our own, especially the suffering we are still holding close to our hearts while mentally holding at a distance. Suffering changes us, it allows us to grow. We have to become new and adapt to our new circumstances, and this is terrifying.

I’ve realised that groups of my work that were in the past ‘unrelated’ are connected with the thread of everyday experiences of suffering, judgement and vulnerability. These experiences that we hold in, that we joke about, that we pretend never happened. Vulnerability is sharing these experiences and finding we have been changed, but want to investigate who we are now.

Some podcasts to listen to about these themes:
On Being with Krista Tippett: Bessel van der Kolk, Treating Trauma in the Body
On Being with Krista Tippett: Brene Brown, The Courage to be Vulnerable

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