“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Monday, 19 November 2018

Transforming Your Pain

They say that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. This happened to me yesterday afternoon, in the car on the way to lead worship at Dudley. I was listening to Richard Rohr's marvellous course The Art of Letting Go, which I've had for years and listened to numerous times. This time, in the last lecture, the phrase "If you do not transform your pain, you will always, always transmit it" jumped up and bit me.

"If you do not transform your pain, you will always, always transmit it."

I have listened to him saying that phrase many times, and have never been able to understand it. How on earth can you transform your pain? But this day, I suddenly realised that transmitting it is exactly what I have been doing. I have struggled in my relationship with a particular person, never mind who, for a long time. Anything that person said or did, I reacted to, and not often in a good way. It has caused me a good deal of suffering, but it was not until yesterday, that I realised that I have been transmitting that suffering, by sharing my negativity about that person with my nearest and dearest.

Rohr went on to say that we don't have to do this, that there is another way. We can step away from the conflict - whatever it is - and refuse to engage with it. Which means that we will be able to see the person we have trouble with, straight, without all the negative garbage we have attached to them.

I thank God for opening the ears of my heart, and for showing me that there is another way. To quote another wise guru, Brene Brown, I am going to trying to "assume positive intent", try to believe that the person is doing the best that they can. I have realised that the reactive me is my Relative Self, and that I have an Absolute Self, who can rise above petty irritations, and not react. 

I don't expect to manage it straight away, but I am, by God, going to try.

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