Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sweet Pain



"... the more I think about loneliness, the more I think that the wound of loneliness is like the Grand Canyon-- a deep incision in the surface of our existence which has become an inexhaustible source of beauty and self-understanding.
Therefore I would like to voice loudly and clearly what might seem unpopular and maybe even disturbing: The Christian way of life does not take away our loneliness; it protects and cherishes it as a precious gift. Sometimes it seems as if we do everything possible to avoid the painful confrontation with our basic human loneliness, and allow ourselves to be trapped by false gods promising immediate satisfaction and quick relief. But perhaps the painful awareness of loneliness is an invitation to transcend our limitations and look beyond the boundaries of our existence. The awareness of loneliness might be a gift we must protect and guard, because our loneliness reveals to us an inner emptiness that can be destructive when misunderstood, but filled with promise for [those] who can tolerate its sweet pain." 

The Wounded Healer, Henri J. M. Nouwen

Going to 7 elementary schools, feeling that I did not fit at my conservative college, and having a spirit set to roam I have dreamed of a day when the ache in my heart will be soothed. Even still, with each year, each adventure, each life changing friendship, each person who deeply loves me, and each person I love, I have learned that loneliness is at the core of life. No matter how busy my day is there will be some brief moment when I know that I am alone. Part of me knows that there is more to this feeling, that nothing will fully take it away, and that I might not want to loose it. It is in the sweet pain that I am most connected with all of humanity, most able to share in the suffering of the world, and most able to participate in the healing process. 

1 comment:

UnderMidnight said...

A friend of mine once said "We're all in this alone."

I think we spend most of our lives growing comfortable with that fact.

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