I have three questions for you.
They all can be asked in reverse.
So, that's six questions.
All six are getting at the same thing.
1) What is the nature of your pain?
2) What is the source of your life?
3) What is the source of your pain?
4) What is the nature of your life?
5) What does your pain have to do with your life?
6) What does your life have to do with your pain?
Those six questions are at the heart of Alcohol Anonymous.
And at the heart of what we are seeking.
We are seeking the end of pain
and the beginning of life.
We want to be alive and pain-free.
My favorite Joseph Campbell quote
is one you will hear from me again:
"That which you seek
lies far back in the darkest corner
of the cave you most don't want to enter."
Pain is the price of being alive.
My life is my pain.
I live to ease my pain.
My pain requires me to be alive
in the time and place of my living.
I can't live without facing/feeling my pain.
I can't face/feel my pain without coming to life/being alive.
My pain necessitates my life/living.
My life/living requires me to face/feel my pain.
I have to live my pain.
I have to live the fear of my pain.
I have to dance with my pain
in order to dance with my life.
The source of my pain
is I want/need to be loved.
The nature of my life
is I Love Me!
The Marianne Moore quote comes into play here:
"The cure for loneliness is solitude."
We are what we seek.
We are the cave we most don't want to enter.
We are the answer to all our prayers.
We have what we need
to find what we need
to do what needs us to do it
in each situation as it arises
all our life long.
We only have to trust that it is so
look and listen.
Where do you go to be still,
to sit quietly,
to look and listen?
How long has it been
since you've gone there,
Why has it been so long?
Are you afraid there is nothing there?
Do you hate your own company?
Be done with alcohol and marijuana.
And/or their equivalents.
Stand alone in your company.
What is so hard about your life?
What is the source of your life?
What is the nature of your pain?
I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing.
I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters, three sons-in-law, and five granddaughters, and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.
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