Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My Friend Hurt

It's funny how we like to hold on to things sometimes.  We never think that we would want to hold on to hurt or bitterness because what kind of life is that but it's so easy to get addicted to those emotions.  You hold on to something for so long that it becomes a sort of crutch that is comforting in a rather sickening way.  You find yourself in arguments about nothing at all that are stemming from this welled-up emotion that you just can't figure out how to explain.

We want to think we are gracious people.  We want to think we're forgiving.  We want to think we can be the "bigger person" and overlook things and just move on with life.  But some hurts are hard to let go of.  They sink their way in to the deepest parts of your subconscious and produce a chemical reaction that starts to feel good and comforting after a while.  Because you know that's the one thing you can depend on.  People may let you down and circumstances may get in your way but the one thing you know for sure is that your hurt will always be there to comfort you in the dark and stormy night.

Sometimes, things can get so dark that hurt becomes your only friend.  You protect it by creating isolation and keeping other people from being able to see it.  You become convinced that if someone sees your hurt they will try to take it away from you.  And then you'd really have nothing left.

Some of my favorite people to talk to are recovering drunks and addicts.  Have a conversation with someone who has truly hit rock bottom in their life and you will experience a level of wisdom, human understanding, and beauty that is difficult to find anywhere else.  When you have reached a point in your life where you literally don't have a leg to stand on, you start to think about what's really important and you learn to have grace with yourself.  You understand that it is not about the failures but about the many little successes that kept that failure from happening sooner.  You understand that perfection is impossible but an honest journey is beautiful.  You understand that there is more than your hurt to hold on to.  So much more.

Hurt's not a very good friend anyway.  It's mostly a one-sided relationship.  It's bound to let you down eventually.  


jonkramer said...

When I was reading this one, it brought to mind something I came across this fall that hit me hard.
"St. Bernard of Clair-vaux talked about the three stages of love. In the first stage, we love God for our own sake, for what God can do for us. In the second stage, we love God for God's own sake, for who God is in God's own character and glory and beauty. It's hard to imagine anything better than that, but Bernard said in the third stage, we love ourselves for God's sake. We join with God in seeing ourselves in a gracious and compassionate light."

Growing up, as much as I was taught to sing that "Jesus loves me" - much of the outflowing theology - and cherished hurts - drove me someplace else: "He loves me, but he probably doesn't like me."

Keep writing, friend.

Anonymous said...

When are you going to post again, huh? I like this honest stuff.