How do you bear your pain? Everything tends to take shape around that. Coming to terms with the pain of life, the pain of being alive, is one of the primary developmental tasks. Get it wrong and we are in a death spiral until we get it right. Denial, escape, distraction is getting it wrong. We have to find ways of folding our pain into our life, of allowing our life to be big enough to receive it well, make room for it and learn from it. Our pain calls into question our sacred assumptions, and requires us to come to terms with unwanted realities that demand our attention. Where do you turn when you have nowhere to turn? What holds you up? Keeps you together? Enables you to keep going? Sees you through? We have to develop a philosophy, a point of view, a way of seeing that enables us to take our pain and its source into account, meet it head on, square up to it again and again, and go right on living-- anyway, nevertheless, even so. We have to tell ourselves something. We have to tell ourselves the truth in a way that boldly considers how things actually are, and enables us to deal with what we face with courage and resolve. What is the source of your courage and resolve? What keeps you going? What is the nature of your pain? How have you managed it to this point in your life? Pain management strategies abound! Healing groups and communities. 12 Step organizations. Compassionate Friends. Chronic Pain associations. Internet Searches... We are not without resources. Help is available, but. We have to help people help us. Putting pain in its place, and honoring it and its place in our life-- with an appropriate degree of respect and appreciation for what it can teach us that will be of value for the rest of our days-- is a step on the way to healing and wholeness in a world where pain does not sleep. or take a day off.
Is it better to have things going our way or not going our way? Which way opens us to the way things need to go? Which way shuts us off from the way things need to go? There is being at one with our life, and there is our life being at one with us. Which way is the way of oneness? No opinion. No judgment. Just this. Now what? Now what in light of what? Now what in the service of what? What are we living toward? What are we living away from? When our life is on track, how is that different from our life being off track? I used to stalk photographs the way a lion stalks an antelope. I sought out photographs. I went in search for photographs. I got up early and stayed out late for photographs. My life changed without warning. With no explanation. Now I take a photograph that happens along. Why strive to do it like I used to do it? I am disinclined to make the effort. Why resist my inclinations? Where am I better off? Not getting up for a sunrise, not staying out for a sunset. Listening to my inner drift of soul. Seeing what the situation calls for. Adjusting to my changing ways. I bought a drum because it was called for. A beginner's djembe. I may be listening for my inner rhythms. I don't know what I'm doing. I'm playing with playing the drum. I don't know why. And I wish my point of origin had included people who did things without knowing why. But. My point of origin made it incumbent upon me to do things without knowing why. Are we better off with our points of origin as they are than we would be with points of origin as we wish they had been? Here we are. Now what? Now what in light of what? Now what in the service of what? What are we living toward? What are we living away from? How do we decide "in light of what"? "In the service of what"? "Toward"? "Away from"? How do we know what to do? How do we determine direction? What is worth our time and what is not? What is guiding our boat on its path through the sea? What do you do without knowing why?
The Christ is the Antichrist. Growing up is dying again and again our whole life long. We grow up against our will every time. The old ways of being have to die in order that the new ways to be may move in and set-up house. The developmental tasks require us to submit to the terror of death in order to experience the wonder-- purchased with a price-- of new life without end (Merely interrupted by the next sweeping out and moving in). The price is our death on the cross (Metaphorical and eternal/everlasting) at every transition point on the path. "The path" is our passage way from "The face that was ours before we were born," to "The face that was ours before we were born." We are The Christ becoming The Christ. The Christ killing The Christ so that we might become The Christ by "Leaving God for God," ("My God, my God! Why have you forsaken me?") and growing up some more again today all along the way.