Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Too Big to Put Behind

Disappointment and loss are a part of every life. Many times we can put them behind us and get on with the rest of our lives. But not everything is amenable to this approach. Some things are too big or too deep to do this, and we will have to leave important parts of ourselves behind if we treat them in this way. These are the places where wisdom begins to grow in us.

It begins with suffering that we do not avoid or rationalize or put behind us. It starts with the realization that our loss, whatever it is, has become a part of us and has altered our lives so profoundly that we cannot go back to the way it was before.

The thing about the many strategies we use to shelter ourselves from feeling loss is that none of them leads to healing. Although denial, rationalization, substitution, avoidance, and the like may numb the pain of loss, every one of them hurts us in some far more fundamental ways.

None is respectful toward life or toward process. None acknowledges our capacity for finding meaning or wisdom.

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-- Rachel Naomi Remen

This affirms for me the truth that suffering, hunger, or need in any form is a gift from God. Like the deer that pants for streams of water, we are driven forward by need. It is by embracing our pain that we can begin to seek real answers and make deep changes within to embrace life and God in a greater way. What is too big to put behind is also too good an opportunity to pass on! - YY


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