A friend reached out this a.m. after reading St Therese’s prayer. She has lost both her parents in the last few months. We chatted a bit about grief and asking for strength. She commented she wasn’t sure who she was talking to in her head, but that traditional beliefs did not have a presence in her life right now.
Completely understandable, we don’t feel very spirited in the wilderness.
It got me to thinking…
Faith. Does it matter what you are having faith in, or just that you are choosing to believe?
And which feels better right now– to project hope into a future positive possibility or to fear the worst?
Faith is seeing possibilities, not just problems. (What is a problem solver anyway? I think it’s just someone that believes in possible solutions.)
“You don‘t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.”Martin Luther King, Jr.
Have you ever been at your edge?
The one where you look around and say sh*t, no one knows I am here or understands how horrible I really feel. That’s a terrible lie we tell ourselves. Most people do understand.
It’s the worst of the human conditions, I think. The one where even the Son of Man, the Beloved One, the perfect one, cries something like: ‘Daddy daddy help me, why are you doing this to me?
Why have you forsaken me?’
Jesus! That was Jesus, for God’s sake, who knew in advance that good would become of his brutal destiny. But anticipating pain is waaaaay different than experiencing it.
In these times, some of us go down into a dark and stagnant place. Others, they go up, into a rage. Whether you internalize pain or externalize it, the remedy is the same.
First is worst ~ when all you can do is hold on. To endure this is nothing short of heroic.
My favorite piece of advice ever given to me was “hold on tight.”
It’s what I remember in the worst of times, when my bandwidth is burnt.
Second, is to move. Physically. One step at a time. One breath at a time. And then another, and another, and another. Get outside. Oxygen is life giving.
Movement is good because it forces breathing. Breathing is good because it creates movement in the body. Water flushes it all away.
Every heard of “issues in your tissues?” It’s not woo woo, it’s truth. Move your body and your mind and spirit will move with you– these three part of you are inextricably linked. Pay attention and be good to your body. And beware getting stuck in the habitrail of a stress response. It’s exhausting, and unproductive.
Friends in despair- a reminder:
You are currently experiencing despair. You are not despair. Remember these are just your emotions, (ones that happen to be overwhelming your being right now.) The weather of our minds….the
wilderness of tough times…choppy seas…the valley of the shadow of death…
First, Hold on tight; endure. Then: Move. Rest. Drink water. Listen. Lean in. Pray. And pay attention…every step of the way. You will make it through. Just because you can’t see the sky doesn’t mean the sky doesn’t exist.
Muse: The most famous Haiku in Japan:
“Pay attention to the frog. Pay attention to the west wind. Pay attention to the boy on the raft, the lady in the tower, the old man on the train. In sum, pay attention to the world and all that dwells therein and thereby learn at last to pay attention to yourself and all that dwells therein.” (Fred Buechner)
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