Let’s face it, nobody likes pain. Physical, emotional, mental, and/or spiritual. It does not matter which sphere we might be experiencing it, we do not like it. Our natural instincts are to run and avoid it, or put a band aid on it (band aid can be used literally or metaphorically in this context) in hopes that it will be gone quickly, and often times we flat out deny that pain even exists within our body, mind, soul, or spirit. For many years I ran from pain and it came out of me in the form of an eating disorder. The short version of a very long lesson for me is that it was not worth it.
Embracing pain can feel much like you are in the middle of a dark room and you can not see. We do not know if we will run into things, or get hurt, or even get out of the room for that matter. As we are willing to take a look inside ourselves to see the pain and all of its deeply rooted issues, a deeper sense of awareness and clarity begins to happen, and as that happens, the room begins to lighten. It might just be a dull light at first, but it is present. This look inside is not an easy one, as much of the time we will find anger and pride that work themselves out in the form of self-protective mechanisms that prevent us from true intimacy with God, self, and others. However, a true look inside also provides balance. Yin and Yang. Light and Dark. The feminine and the masculine co-existing and existing together. Both are true, both are real, and both exist inside of us. The knowledge and acceptance of both lead one to humility and also our need for God.
“The greatest beauty is always beyond knowledge and hidden in the darkness of the unknown.”
Carl Jung would put it in the words of a shadow. The dark places within us. I believe God honors and respects our journey into the dark of self. It is there that He is waiting. Waiting for us to surrender purely so that we can love purely and receive love purely. He is there waiting for us to receive forgiveness so that we can give forgiveness. The more aware we are of our dark side, or shadow or whatever you want to call it, the more we understand our need for God. We see how fragile and self-protective we really aware. In the presence of God the need to preserve self above all else can begin to be laid down. Life is breathed into us, and balance is restored.