Monday, 17 September 2012
Life can at times seem to be painted in only grays with subtle variations in tone to cut the monotony. I am not talking about depression here; it is just the sadness that seems to penetrate everything around me. Yes I know that I am the one doing the painting here, using my own inner brush (perceptions) to put the different hues on the people and events that I come in contact with.
Lately that sadness has been more pronounced for me than in the past. This is actually a new development in my life -- something that I in fact welcome, for I have known for years that my anger, or inner rage, was something that was protecting me from either sadness or sorrow, or perhaps both. Maybe sadness is just another protective barrier, though a more gentle one.
Even as I say this, I know that life is not just about sadness, no more that it is about anger. There are also bright brush strokes that paint life, there is joy and love and yes hope and I still see them, these bright colors around me. Yet the sadness seems to be always there now, perhaps like anger it will be just a companion that accompanies me on this part of my journey and one day it will allow what is underneath to come to consciousness.
I think my last retreat has opened up some inner doors and I want to keep them ajar, for to close them would really take more energy than I most likely have at this time; which would lead to depression. Sadness can lead one to places that are not healthy, spaces that are filled with self pity and loathing; so I am working on not allowing that to happen.
I am coming to the realization that one reason that God has been so important in my life, is early on as a very young child, I somehow (grace?) came to the understanding that I would drown in my own inner depths if I did not have a relationship with something greater than my own puny self. Leviathan dwells in the depths of my soul, which are my own fears, rages, sadness and only God knows what else. Knowing that I enter into these inner worlds accompanied has very slowly over the years helped me to mine the gold that is also buried among the darker aspects of myself; pieces that are in fact self destructive but spared from living them out.
I know that I am not alone nor unique in this. Each person that I meet, or see, is a universe unto themselves, filled with inner experiences that could bring me to my knees if I even for a minute experienced them. Knowing this somehow makes it easier to accept others and not feel the need to judge, well at least much of the time.
It is obvious that no amount of prayer will spare anyone the necessity of walking their own route to Calvary. Proceeded by the Gethsemane experience of being abandoned by everyone, even by God -- for personal suffering tends to throw us back on ourselves. If the problem is chronic, then the feeling of being misunderstood is even greater, along with the sense of isolation.
Perhaps the greatest source of suffering for mankind is the lack of empathy that is often not manifested (though of course this is not always the case), in the face of the suffering of others. Also this may be a necessity, for perhaps only God, as revealed in Christ Jesus, can bear the sufferings of all sentient beings without being overwhelmed.
In any case, we each in our own way must come to terms with the ocean of suffering that surrounds us. It is so much a part of life that it can be ignored until it is our turn to be pounded by the waves. Suffering both opens up the heart and makes it more compassionate, or closes it in on itself as an act of self preservation. To keep the heart open could be the whole point of our existence. Not as simple as it sounds thought, as most people I am sure can attest to.
Are you facing a season of sadness? What in your life is causing your sadness? How can we encourage those who are feeling broken down this week?