When one chooses the path of love it requires courage to stick to it. By love, I mean that kind that is unconditional that we need to grace ourselves with before we can even think of sharing it with anyone else. My feet have been mired in quicksand that I am trying to pull myself out of right now. If you fight too hard when you are trying to get out then you will only sink deeper. The pain and emptiness that I feel as I am trying to gradually do this is overwhelming. In order to heal my heart, I have to feel everything, and trust what I am feeling without judgement. My patience to sit with the pain and emptiness really is not here today. At the same time I cannot go back to feeling numb any more. I have one foot in life and the other in death. Being in survival mode or what some call auto pilot is not really being engaged with the joy of living.
I once read that the dark night of the soul is meeting those shadow aspects, and having to sit with them for a while. These days are very lonely. Even though I do make it a point to spend time with friends, and family…it is still lonely. Keeping busy does help to preserve my sanity, but I am also aware to not ignore what is going on around me either. Connections that once were so deep feel like the wires got crossed some how. Once in a while though I make a connection with a new acquaintance, or an old friend that shows a spark of hope. The roles I played in my past, and present need to be re-evaluated, and new boundaries set. The beginning of this has started to occur, and I find that others around me are resistant to the changes that I wish to make for myself. It sometimes leads to conflict, and may even in some cases lead to some leaving my life.
What ever changes I am making now are going to determine the course of the rest of my life. Whom ever chooses to sit beside me on the roller coaster of life needs to accept me for who I am at that particular moment. We grow new cells, and accumulate new knowledge every moment of our lives. Everyone is changing all the time. The only certainties in life are change and death. Life always isn’t always fair, and we will make mistakes. This is how all of us grow and learn. Resilience is determined by one’s attitude towards how you handle the failures and traumas of life.
The challenge to the heart is to still continue on the path of love despite the pain, the unfairness, and the injustice in the world. How do you make peace with God when bad things happen to good people? I am currently reading the book called When Bad Things Happen to Good People by Harold S. Kushner. Harold’s son died of Progeria, a disease that causes rapid aging, and the author is a rabbi. Can you image having your faith so shaken that you doubt your spiritual calling? His book deals with the questions surrounding God and suffering. He does not present neat and tidy answers to deal with this question, but rather does deal with the messiness of life, and the gap that religion can leave us with when we face difficult times in life.
The choice to love, for me, means to surrender my life into God’s hands and in order to do this I must trust. Trust in myself, God and other people is very difficult for me because I have been disappointed. It’s easier at times to hide your heart away rather than to stake the risk of being hurt again. We take risks in order to feel and to be alive. Can you see where the internal conflict can begin? Every day that I am breathing I remind myself that bravery doesn’t mean you are unafraid. Rather it means that you have the courage to face your fears, and move forward anyways. Perhaps the real challenge to the heart is to keep being brave despite the fear, and to not shut down again.