My own experience with anguish has been that facing it and living it through is the way to healing. But I cannot do that on my own. I need someone to keep me standing in it, to assure me that there is peace beyond the anguish, life beyond death, and love beyond fear. But I know now at least, that attempting to avoid, repress, or escape the pain is like cutting off a limb that could be healed with proper attention.

The deep truth is that our human suffering need not be an obstacle to the joy and peace we so desire, but can instead become the means to it.

Our brokenness is often so frightening to face because we live it under the curse. Living our brokenness under the curse means that we experience our pain as a confirmation of our negative feelings about ourselves. When we lose a family member or friend through death, when we become jobless, when we fail an examination, when we live through a separation or divorce, when a war breaks out, an earthquake destroys our home or touches us, the question "why?" spontaneously emerges. "Why me?" "Why now?" "Why here?". It is so arduous to live without an answer to this "why" that we are easily seduced into connecting the events over which we have no control with our conscious or unconscious evaluation.

The great spiritual call of the Beloved Children of God is to pull their brokenness away from the shadow of the curse and put it under the light of the blessing. This is not as easy as it sounds. But when we keep listening attentively to the voice calling us the Beloved, it becomes possible to live our brokenness, not as a confirmation of our fear that we are worthless, but as an opportunity to purify and deepen the blessing that rests upon us.

All addictions [for us, control] makes us slaves, but each time we confess opening our dependecies and express our trust that God has truly set us free, the source of our suffering can become our source of hope."

- Henri Nouwen, Life of the Beloved, excerpts from pgs 95-99 [thanks heath]

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