I’m pretty sure that sometimes “healing” just means learning to live in peace with the pain.
I’ve been to countless workshops. I’ve questioned my stressful thoughts for days on end and accumulated countless hours of stranger eye-gazing to weepy Whitney Houston songs; I’ve sat still and starving on desolate mountainsides, determinedly reframed disappointments and disillusionment as profound blessings; I’ve danced in authentic celebration on many a dark cloud’s silver lining, recited endless forgiveness mantras, lovingly held my phantom inner child and even walked (quickly) across 2000-degree glowing hot coals while screaming “YES! … YES! … YES!”.
I’ve done it all. … Well, I’ve at least done most of it.
Despite all the inner work I’ve done and all the beautiful insights my mind and heart are fortunate to see, there are some sorrows from my past that just never seem to fully exhaust their sadness.
Yes, certain ones do get easier to bear with time, and perhaps someday I’ll be completely healed when I finally discover the right technique or some flash of divine insight startles me awake in bed … or maybe I just notice the wound no longer aches when life pokes its wild, meddling, sharp-nailed fingers at it.
For now, though, simply making peace with the pain seems to be the best healing I can hope for. It might even be the very salvation my sadness so deeply longs for.
SONG INSPIRATION: Listen to this Alanis Morissette song, “Incomplete”, about how our desperate, incessant search for completion only delays the rapture of relief we’re actually looking for, a rapture which can perhaps only be found in accepting that we are forever incomplete:
I have been running so sweaty my whole life
Urgent for a finish line
And I have been missing the rapture this whole time
Of being forever incomplete
NOTE: I dedicate this post to my dear beloved friend, Brian Kelly, a Marine and exceptional man and father of 3, and to my friend Angela, Brian’s devoted wife and one of the coolest women on the planet. Brian succumbed to lung and brain cancer in Aug 2013, likely caused by Gulf War Syndrome. I’m forever grateful for your presence in my life, Brian.