Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Candy Pain

In regards to the previous blog (The Beauty of Suffering)...

... Ouch.

It's never what you expect. Even when you expect it to hurt. Even when everyone is honest, respectful and considerate.

It's a hard hike. It's gonna be long, too.

Ouch.

It's worth it, though. I keep telling myself that.

My mind wants to make it logical; random, obtrusive and untrue thoughts jumping out at me to protect my heart.

We are made for self-defense. Internally and externally.

I'm not defending myself this time. I want to feel it. Be honest. Move on.

And in optimism, I really do feel like I've faced some old, hidden, internal demons of mine. One less peice of baggage to carry with me in the next adventure of love and war.

My massage therapist used to refer to the pain you would get that felt Oh-so-good during a massage as "Candy Pain."

Thats what I'm going to call this. Candy Pain. It hurts... a lot. But the affection and adoration involved feels Oh-so-good.

Oh, so very good.

Monday, 21 September 2009

The Beauty of Suffering

All I could think of was how glorious this morning turned out to be. The sun weaving between the trees impressing intense heat amidst the cool shade of the forest. The damp ground. The stillness. The silence. It was going to be a long hike. A hard one, but a good one.

The friend I was with, while appreciative of the beauty, saw more struggle in this morning physical push to get up the mountain than I did. There were moments at the half way mark where she would exclaim how she wanted to be done. How she wished for the end to come quicker. Whiney? Not so much a complaint, but unable to see the good, the hope, through the pain, the hurt.

“What choice do we have?” I asked her. Shall we sit down here, stop fighting through it. Not face the pain? Not endure the struggle to achieve and receive the good? Or do we embrace our options and love the choice we make and the road it takes us on? “We can turn around,” I tell her, “or sit here. Or keep hiking up the mountain. Those are our options. Enjoy this. Be in this moment. It’s where we are.”

“It is what we all need – hope that comes not from going around suffering, but from going through it.” –Rob Bell

This quote has always had endless “real life” situations to apply it to. Could be as simple as the physical challenge of hiking up a mountain. Maybe as obvious and difficult as overcoming loss or depression. Sometimes much more hidden. Much more outrageous. Much more ambiguous.

Recently, I’ve found myself in a situation where I’m required to make a choice about struggles and hope. A choice that could cause a lot of pain and difficulty in my life for quite some time if I’m not careful. I’m not an ignorant, innocent victim - I wandered knowingly into this position, but underestimated the strength I would need to pull myself out of it.

A cautious and logical person would give me a good eye roll and tell me in a tone of voice designed to reflect the obviousness of my self-perceived dilemma that choosing the path that doesn’t inflict the hurt and the tears would be best.

I consider myself logical and cautious. I also consider myself strong and intuitive. That logical and cautious decision I should be making doesn’t feel right. In fact, it feels very wrong and very weak. It makes me feel like a coward running away from it.

I know there is nothing wrong with protecting myself. But there is a lot to be gained by making myself vulnerable and taking this risk. More than just the opportunity of an amazing friendship with an amazing individual. And oh, would that be good. The enjoyment of that alone almost makes the pain worth it.

What if I told you that I would be facing a deep issue of mine? What if I told you that making the decision to put myself through this struggle rather than running away from it would be an opportunity to clean up some old war/ love wounds?

Because the way I see it now is that I’m half way up that mountain. Am I just going to sit down and cry about it? Am I going to turn around? Not face the pain? Not learn and grow from it? Accept defeat because I’m weak?


No.

I’m going to enjoy it. Appreciate the rough and ugly, the pain and suffering, as much as I’ll love the pleasureful and the beautiful. Not in denial, not unaware. Open. Honest. Strong.

I can do this.

I’m going through the suffering, not around it.

I’m going to finish this long, hard and glorious hike.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

Letting Go

I’m dreading the idea of blogging lately. Not because I’m writing less, or sharing less. Because I’m losing track of what’s really important to me.

I feel desperate. Despite that I see so much hope and opportunity coming my way, all the challenges surrounding me and my lack of ability to take control of it is leaving me attempting to grasp any and all ideas to pull myself out of this slump.

I’m trying to take control of my life. I thought I’d fought this issue so long ago – again, I guess.
But I don’t really want to take control. I don’t really believe that will work out for me. I’ve tried that before. I know God’s way is much, much better.

It’s not control I want. It’s assurance. It is difficult to live in such uncertainty (regardless of how much I love it.) I love the challenge in my life and appreciate it, but it wears me down just as much as it wears down those who don’t love it. Those who think I’m crazy for loving it.

Guessing what will happen next? Trying to plan? Putting the pressure on myself to always be successful? That sounds like the road to desiring perfection.

… I just want direction.

Now, I’m giving it up again. Not giving up. Just relinquishing the control once more to the only power that actually knows what is going on in this world.

Again, I’m finding freedom in owning nothing. More so, letting go.

After all, none of this is really about me anyway.