From the time we are born into this world until we die, our human radar picks up signals about how to respond to life. What we picked up on when we were very young carries an even greater power. The messages we receive and process tell us what we are “supposed” to do with our feelings, how to understand and cope with disappointment, anxiety, failure, death, illness, and what to expect out of life. As life unfolds for us, these radar messages kick in and resonate in us at very deep levels. Sometimes what we have learned is helpful and sometimes it is not. The stories we have been told, especially when we are young, about how life is best lived and how to negotiate its pain carry a heavy weight.
Life can be challenging and frightening. Sometimes, it really hurts to be a human being. It also can be quite unpredictable and, at times, unfair. We face our vulnerability and brokenness of all kinds: physical, emotional, and spiritual. It doesn’t take much for life to quickly fall apart. What we knew to be familiar and true is gone and something we relied upon, physically, emotionally, or spiritually, can be taken away. It is hard to confront our limitations and sit with our incompleteness. Often, life hurts us so much that we find ourselves sitting in a pool of sadness, not sure what we are supposed to do. It is particularly hard when the signals we have inherited tell us that we need to be successful in what we do, and we have to avoid life’s unfairness. We can feel like a failure, wondering what precisely we did to deserve this fate, or ruminate about what we did not do correctly. But it’s really not about us. We are part of a bigger picture and a much more fascinating story!
If we cease doing battle with life’s incompleteness and see ourselves, as God does, on a journey toward wholeness and completeness we can better accept our disappointments and stand firm. The prophets told us, and Jesus reassured us: Be strong! Fear not! Sometimes we have to update our stories and replace them with newer, more accurate ones. When we make God’s story our own and tune our radar into His voice, what we hear is all about restoration, healing, and rejuvenation! This is true even when we think we have hit rock bottom and can go no further. There is always hope. Remember the words of Julian of Norwich: God made us, God loves us, and God keeps us. Now, listen to God when He says, “be opened!” Be healed and allow your stories to change.BACK TO LIST