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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Sad News

I apologize that posts on the blog have been erratic at best, but lately I've been inundated with bad news and have found all of it rather overwhelming.  Within the last week, I've discovered that at least four people I know are have serious problems, at least two are addictions-related.  Only one of them has been in contact, and I'm glad to say that while his overall situation is dreadful, I hold the most hope for him because he's starting the Steps and doing the right things to get on the right path.

As for the others, I simply do not know.  I can only watch at a distance.  And pray.

After the shock wears off, then I have to make a decision: am I going to let someone else's decisions to be unhappy impact my happiness?  If I do, it helps neither of us.

Mourning is natural, but remaining in perpetual mourning is not.  There is a time when we must let go and move on with life because the loss passes further and further into the past.  We are not supposed to live in the past.  The past is dangerous?

Why? Because it relies on human memory, which is subject to distortion.  memories are reconstructions.  We do not experience reality in a memory, but an imaginary image of what once was.  It is effected by our present circumstances as well as our past dispositions: we can 'forget' to remember the whole picture, or we can later notice how much we missed at the time.

This is why we must always try to stay in the present.  Sentimentality is a real killer, particularly for an addict whose mind is distorted by his suffering.

There was a time where I would have looked at such suffering in others and snorted something along the lines of, "Well, they deserve what they got."  part of that is the introvert in me that avoids lots of social attachments, but the other is the part that is sensitive to such wounding and wants to limit my own pain by downgrading my relationships.  The less you care for others, the less they can hurt you.

In my own path, I have resolved that people can hurt me... initially.  But, only I can hurt myself over long periods of time.  The real tortures I have endured have always been self-inflicted.  I have always hurt myself far more than others have.  My worst shame and embarrassment was always self-inflicted.  Even when others embarrassed me, it was only because I had something to be embarrassed about.

So, I have learned to some extent to absorb the blow and experience the pain, but then move on.  When someone betrays my trust, it hurts until I realize how much the other person has betrayed himself.

If I can endure my pain, then I can pass through it and never go through it again.  Only by avoiding the experience of pain do I end up reliving it over and over again.

1 comment:

  1. A family member has recently passed away, and I am realizing more than ever how mourning can affect a person. Part of my struggle has been to remind myself and others, that the person has not died, but fallen asleep in The Lord. The loss hurts, I do not want to deny this, I wouldn't want to be able to not feel pain for losing someone because I try to love people. However, the rational side wants to move on, to continue to keep things as usual, so that no other bad things happen. Still, I find reason for joy, and paradoxically, I feel that my communion with the person I "lost" is actually growing because I have been able to have a deeper look at what a relationship really is and what really matters (the love is what matters, all else passes away). Also, I have felt on my own skin how memories can start to rush in, and how disconnected they are from reality and from the present; in a time like this, it really becomes clear how much they need to be avoided, at all times, no matter what or how bad a thing happens. In my case, I wouldn't do any favor to the person I lost by being sad; I believe I've even heard the elders say to allow the person to move on, to have peace also.