Matthew 13: 11-33
Pain. Somehow, it seems to take on a life of its own. What you thought was hurting there, is really hurting here. I am beginning to understand. Coming here–into this world filled with pain–has sometimes felt to me as though I’ve had amnesia. Like I should have known this before. Didn’t I? How did I forget? Relearning. All of the tedium. Ugh.
Physical pain is one thing. Emotional pain is quite another. A personal who can soothe emotional pain has a gift: the gift of true love. Love is not always easy to find. Love is borne on the backs of habits– born of pain, gathers droplets through compassion, spreads across calm waters where there is no judgement, and rises from the mist into the sunshine. Love does not hold vice on its calm surface. Vice sinks quickly and disappears into the depths. Only through pond inversion will vice get another chance to become love.
Occasionally, when meeting someone for the first time, I feel as though I’ve known them my entire life. I felt like that when I met my husband. It still feels like that, most days. Do you know this feeling? I have been having more of those moments recently. It’s not such a coincidence, really. Retirement provides opportunity.
Several days ago I wrote a post about feeling lucky to have been unlucky. I have also been doing an online book study with friends. We have been reading the book Self-Esteem by McKay and Fanning. Throughout the book so far (it takes some time to work through that thing!), there had been no reference to geography. But then–it was there–the name of a town. MY town. The town where we have spent the greatest share of our lives. Frantically, I began searching. Was there a connection? Yes, but not what I expected.
Dr. Matthew McKay, I discovered, has written a book that he never expected to write. He is a man of science and committed to adhering to sound research practices. McKay experienced the kind of pain a parent fears the most: his son, aged 23–full of promise and excited about his future, was murdered. McKay began a highly unusual quest to try to connect with his son on the other side. He found a way. What he learned–what I read last night in his book Seeking Jordan–consumed my dreams. This morning the mist cleared, and my life seems sane again. Mostly.
You would need to read the book–and even then you would need to be in a certain place in your life’s journey to allow it in. We are just as we suspected. We are in this together. We are all connected. Pain provides us opportunity to link arms (as one reader recently said to me–so succinctly) and to learn collectively. Through our pain, we learn love–better.
I am here with you to breathe through our pain, to connect, and to learn love better.
*I am not a licensed therapist and will never claim to be such. I have retired after working 20 years as full-time, elementary-classroom teacher. I’ve taught it all: reading, math, science, and the social studies. (That does NOT mean that I have learned it all!) What I have to offer (and what I have yet to fully understand. 😉 ) is a lifetime of experiences and a spaghetti-brain full of randomly-connected information. 🙂 Most importantly, I care.