(Though it need not be)
There are many clichés that are used in our culture today. We hear them every day ad nauseum. Yet they can be true for all that; in fact they can get to the heart of the matter they speak of, if pondered and their over-familiarity defeated. So that the wise center can be understood and inner balance and healing accomplished.
For me, the most difficult obstacle I face on my journey towards inner wholeness is the relationship I have with myself, one that is chosen, thought out, talked over with others and in the end, with God. While the obstacle to accomplish this lessens as I age and hopefully will continue to grow; it is still there nonetheless.
Or at times my relationship with myself can be thoughtless (which is easy, effortless), allowing whatever mood to take over, to dictate to me who I am, mostly from aspects of myself far from mature, often angry, or filled with self-pity…. an endless cycle of tapes that will never run out unless I actually step in.
So what is this overused cliché that I mentioned? Easily said, pious sounding, yet for all that….empty, even useless; well yes, unless I give it body, form, and inner reality.
The saying is this;, or rather it is a command. Why is it a command (?), because it is hard to live out, it takes choice, courage and the ability to step back and observe all that is within me, which is in reality, just bits and pieces that live inside me, though real enough, yet also in a sense an illusion.
The saying: “You must love the Lord your God with your whole heart, mind and soul, the second (the clincher), you must love your neighbor as yourself."
How do we love what is within us? Those voices that are loud, obnoxious, demanding, angry, petulant, and yes; totally irrational in what they want from us. We can fight ourselves, feeling guilty over our thoughts and emotions, or as we are commanded, we can love and listen to our inner voices.
If we don’t listen, the inner tumult will only grow, either driving us into chaos or allowing them to lead us down paths that can lead to isolation. We fight ourselves needlessly, fearing what is not evil, trying to push under aspects of ourselves seeking only healing.
When we understand that no matter what room we enter that exists within, no matter how deeply buried, or how much we fear what is behind those closed doors, when we enter, into the darkness and chaos, we will find that Jesus has been there all along peacefully waiting for us. All is known, nothing is hidden, we do live in glass houses, and there is, in reality, no hiding place. Our problems start when we think that there are.
Lasting healing starts when we allow God’s love to enter our hearts ever deeper, allowing us to make conscious acts of trust, which may be difficult, but the deeper our trust in spite of our inner resistance, the deeper the healing.
It is the death to self, the beginning of a new life, where fear and anger don’t have the last word, where our hearts expand and we seek to understand and help others who are on the same path, we also learn to seek to make amends towards those we hurt or tended to scapegoat in the past if possible.
No, it is not an easy road, but in the end the burden lighter than if the road not taken. If we can’t always experience justice from those who wronged us, we can seek to even the scales with those we have hurt. We can become wounded healers. We then allow the image we are made in to draw us deeper into healing relationships with others, that are free and loving, where the ice melts and spring is allowed to come forth in our souls.
We are always at the beginning.
There is always hope.-Br.MD
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