“Desire realized is sweet to the soul.” — Proverbs 13:19
Christmas is approaching. I can recall as a child, every Christmas Eve coming home from church and running up to the Christmas tree, seeing presents – mounds of them, four huge stacks, one for each sibling, towering as high as the top of the tree itself. But even with that kind of excess, one can still experience a lifetime of deprivation. If we were deprived as children, we may still live with emptiness inside. Of what were we deprived; love, security, validation, acceptance, caring, or compassion?
I know that I like many others compensated by learning to bear the deprivation and survive. As an adult, I find myself still surviving. I settle; I don’t ask for things because I believe I don’t deserve anything. But making do with life’s crumbs has brought me to resentment, self-pity and feeling deprived. I remain a child, instead of becoming an emotionally healthy adult who feels competent and worthwhile.
I am learning where the balance is between wanting nothing and wanting everything. If I can continue to work on broadening my thinking to include such words as “plenty”, “fulfillment”, “pleasure”, and “satisfaction”, I know that only then will I start to believe there is enough of everything. It is then that I will become aware of the fullness of life around and within me. Living in the present helps me realize that I actually have everything I need in the moment.
This realization helps me feel worthwhile, competent – and even fulfilled. My prayer to the Universe today will be, “Please take away my fear of satisfaction and pleasure. Grant me an awareness of how good life is, whether it brings me what I expect.”
- Have a Good – Not a Goods – Holiday Season (mint.com)
- 8 Easy Ideas to Help Others During The Holidays From Gift Basket Village (prweb.com)
- Christmas with a Capital C: A Heart-Warming Christmas Movie on GMC (susanheim.blogspot.com)
“Many brave men lived before Agamemnon, but all unwept and unknown, they sleep in endless night, for they had no poets to sound their praises.” – Horace
A person in one of my group therapy sessions once told this story. “I was living in a city with a large population of homeless and poor. Each day it was painful to notice the contrast between the beautifully dressed, seemingly self-confident people, and the poor who shared the streets with them.”
“One day I realized I could empathize with how those homeless people felt. I’d lived my whole life feeling I didn’t belong, with no family I could turn to, and not knowing if I would survive another day in my misery. The compassion I felt was a reminder to me not to form my opinions about people by how they look. It doesn’t matter what people think they see in me, or anyone else. Each one of us is wounded. It’s just that some wounds are on the inside instead of the outside.” Remember that we are all in this world together and for a purpose, no matter what the circumstances of our lives.
Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” -E.H. Chapin-
When I am suffering I wondered this morning, what do I usually do with it? Do I use it as a reason to abuse myself, shame myself or hate myself? Do I turn to my former unhealthy behaviors from the pain that is part of the suffering?
When I was acting out, I suffered, I felt pain, but I usually did not understand why. The suffering and pain that accompanies me along my path of personal and spiritual growth is quite different – it leads me to healing, or at least it will if I let it. Sometimes I can turn my pain over to the Universe, trusting that my pain is there to help me grow, and that it will pass. This can help me believe that my pain has a true purpose.
My feelings, no matter how difficult some of them are to feel, are supported by the compassion I am learning to feel myself and the compassion the Universe feels for me. I can choose to look at my pain in the light of recovery. It won’t last forever; I will survive!