Learning to live with uncertainty and loss
Being young is truly wonderful. When I think of my youth, I often experience ‘that person’ as almost a stranger, yet someone I of course know. I also feel young inside, but there is a difference. I have learned, more or less, to deal with loss.
Many people learn about loss early in life. Starting in early childhood, though perhaps the majority don’t start this process until much later, if they are lucky. We are always letting go, though when younger it is apparent that most of letting go is a gateway into something larger. The first day of school, for instance, can be quite scary. I remember the day I started the first grade at “Good Shepherd”. I did not want to go, leaving the safety of home, but even though I never really liked school, it was overall a life-affirming experience.
The same goes for other stages in life. Then after a certain age, it becomes apparent that there begins the process of diminishment. The loss of strength, agility, and even sharpness of mind, once taken for granted is now lessening. In this, it can be harder to find a gateway into something larger. It is often a difficult journey, but there are also many positive developments. Inner freedom can begin to expand. Which can in fact, besides the bother with all the goes with being older, can actually be one of the best times of one’s life.
I do think it is important to think deeply about the human journey. If not, we may fall into the trap of letting others think for us. Now everyone is unique, so how we seek to deepen our understanding of what our lives are about will vary greatly.
Dealing with time can also be a very interesting part of our pilgrimage. I am now 70, not young, and so I can see the end racing towards me. Even if I live to be 90, it is just a blink. In fact, as I look back on my life, from very early childhood, until now, it is a ‘blink’. Almost dreamlike, or perhaps it is, though of a different nature of the dreaming that happens when we sleep. Yet when we sleep, the world we find ourselves in, for that short time, is the real world. Makes one wonder about life, death, and what it is all about.
My faith, as a Christian, gives me a perspective on life that will be different from say an atheist, or a Buddhist, or a Pagan. Yet we are all travelers on the same road, leading to the same destination. From my own personal experience as a man who seeks God on the Christian path, I have come to understand that the love I experience from God, is the same love that embraces all seekers. I do not believe that I am to use scriptures to judge others, or to build up walls to protect me from different belief systems. To seek is to find.
Below is a quote from one of my favorite books, titled “He and I”. I do believe it brings out the central reality of God’s love for us, in language that can be understood. The only problem is that the message is so positive, so loving, that it can raise doubts. It does in me, but doubt is part of life, and it only deepens my desire to seek and to understand. I do believe that each human, is the one sheep, that he seeks while leaving the 99, as is so beautifully stated in the parable of the Good Shepherd.
January 19—(With tender intimacy.) “When the moment of death comes for My friends, you believe, don’t you, that I come gently, with all the delicate touches that you know, to take their souls into My kingdom? You would do the same if you were taking someone into one of your beautiful homes. You would want to feel the joy of their surprise, wouldn’t you? Then I, God, who love more and own more, how could I fail to be interested in the passing of My friends from time? “Nothing that you may possibly have imagined of the love of My heart comes anywhere near the reality. Remember that I wanted your joy so much that I came down to earth to know suffering. And when I see you suffer, and suffer for Me, I gather each of your sufferings with great love, as though yours were greater than Mine, and had a value that My heart would like to make infinite. And this is why, when you allow Me to do so, I merge your life with Mine.”
Bossis, Gabrielle. He and I (Kindle Locations 3149-3156).
Pauline Books and Media. Kindle Edition.
No one is outside of God’s love, which is the message of Christianity. Though many Christians will disagree with me. Also being Catholic does not help matters for more than a few. When I read the scriptures, it is for me to take to heart, and not to look at others in such a way that I compare myself to them. I am called to conversion, to deeper love, to opening my heart to the love of Jesus Christ, so that I can love others…….I am not called to judge, condemn, but to only love, and pray, and to speak with love and respect if others inquire of my faith. It is a terrible burden to judge others, it wounds the soul on a very deep level. It can poison the heart.
Life is short, full of paradox, joy, love, and yes, of pain as well. However, if I seek to grow in my relationship with Christ, that journey will be intense, and I will not have the time to judge others, but to only pray for them……yes even my enemies.
As I age, so do my brothers and sister. I have lost three in the last few years and almost lost another this week. However, he is on the mend, and it helps me to not take for granted, my family, or friends, or those I simply meet on the way.
True I fail, but I simply get up and take the next step. The journey for all of us is hard, let us grow in empathy and compassion for one another. God is love, those who love, live in God and God in them. –Br.MD