The Gift of Pain

March 26, 2015

Glenwood - Jan - March 2008 & RLP 076 “Be sure and stay ahead of the pain.”  Words from the pharmacist years ago as I picked up yet another bottle of  addictive pain medication for my 20 year old daughter who had recently had her tonsils removed.  Being a “push through the pain” kind of girl, I asked her just what the hell that meant anyway.  It seemed to me that having the courage to tough it out was the better approach. One to be proud of and that showed the strong stuff of which I am made. “The body, when faced with the choice of dealing with the pain, or healing the injury, can only focus on one of those and, in the proper order” she replied. ” Resolve the pain. Heal the patient.” In other words healing is hindered when pain is ignored. Heading back home, I resolved to help her heal by helping her resolve her pain.

Our bodies are but a microcosm of the greater whole.  Found embodied in our relationships and in the body of the world, pain is everywhere. Close to home and in the farthest reaches of the world.  It is within our hearts and our homes, amidst our communities and countries, in the halls of our organizations and schools.  Unresolved pain is wracking our planet and threatening our shared futures large and small, and is an indication that there is healing to be done.

Pain hurts.  Deeply.  Acutely. Sharply. Chronically. Our natural reaction to pain is to avoid it.  Afraid of the hurt we react in fear, provoking ancient coping mechanisms.  Fight, flight or freeze.

Putting up our dukes and hitting back causes further injury.

Running for cover furthers us from the healing we long for, but can’t see because we are facing the wrong direction.

Hunkering down and refusing to budge drives pain deeper and healing further away.

When it comes to resolving the pain in our lives, none of those lead to the healing that is waiting for us on the other side.  Wherever the pain exists, it is calling us to attend to it fully, in order to more fully live.  It requires that we dive deeply into the pain in order to get to the bottom of it.

Pain is our call to action in order to heal that which is broken.

Pain is the canary in the mine alerting us that we are running out of air.

Pain is the lighthouse exposing the rocks which will dash our ship to pieces if we don’t steer with care.

Pain is the warning sign alerting us to dangers ahead.

Pain is the breadcrumb path that leads to wholeness.

Pain is the care package that must be unwrapped in order to receive the gift of healing.

Healing trumps holding on to old hurts.

Healing beats clinging to our stories that keep us stuck in old chapters.

Healing always outlasts winning.

Healing outshines the darkness of resentment.

Healing is a cut above the festering wounds of unforgiveness.

Healing forges wholeness out of the holes in our hearts.

Wherever the pain, it is the doorway through which healing awaits. Pain speaks the truth.  The truth sets us free.

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Under Construction

March 23, 2015

The words you speak become the house you live in.  Hafiz

Glenwood October 2007 026

The house we built started out on a napkin in the bar at Paradise Lodge in the shadow of Mt. Rainier.  We were on our way back from dropping the last daughter off at college, and I needed a distraction to keep from thinking about our nest that was now empty.  Over a glass of wine my husband and I began to imagine a new nest.  A rustic home that we imagined would become a gathering place for those we loved.  Eight years later, what we imagined on a napkin now sits firmly grounded in  the shadow of Mt. Adams, gathering those we love as often as we can all manage.  What we imagined began as thoughts, the thoughts became the words that found our builder, who ordered the supplies that became our home.  One board at a time, nail by nail, our house was built, upon the foundation of our thoughts, imagination and words.

Read the rest of this entry »

No Present Like The Time

March 19, 2015

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When I was a little girl, my family and I spent two weeks every summer at the Oregon coast.  Two. Whole. Weeks.   All year long I counted down the days until we could load up the car and head down to the beach.  I counted up my pennies so that I could go for an hour long horse back ride on the beach every day.  For Two.  Whole.  Weeks.

14 days

336  hours

20160 minutes

As soon as we drove down the driveway to the little cottage tucked into the hillside, overlooking Haystack Rock in Cannon Beach, I started counting down. Read the rest of this entry »

Teachers All Around

March 13, 2015

 Christmas 06- July 07 223

Photo by Tom Pierson


What if there are teachers all around us?

Everyday?

Ann Lamott reminds us that perhaps for the time we have here, we are enrolled in what she refers to as ” Earth School”.

Everyday.

Perhaps some teachers are more apparent than others, but I am wondering if that has more to do with my awareness and willingness to notice rather than the teacher’s willingness to appear. Read the rest of this entry »

Living a FULL Life

March 6, 2015

I believe that we are meant to live fully. Read the rest of this entry »