Getting to the Roots of Our Struggles & Pain
Not too long ago, I wrote a blog about the idea of ‘gracelessness’. As a refresher, it’s what I call it when we’re in those moments where all gracefulness, elegance, and finesse seem to fail us. On occasion, this can be something blatantly apparent to us. We spill our coffee, drop our keys, forget our wallet, trip going up the stairs (and if you know me, you know that’s something I’m uniquely qualified to speak to), or as subtle as forgetting to reply to an important text, failing to notice a note that was left for you on your desk, or even feeling uncomfortable for some reason as you sit and try to relax. Whatever the case may be, it’s often in those times that we can feel most alone.
I was contemplating that idea in conjunction with our recent blog about loneliness and it occurred to me that often, we can feel alone even when people are busy assuring us that they’re there for us. That can often be because we are struggling to deal with deep wounds, such as betrayal. A spouse who catches her husband cheating may feel that complete betrayal so deeply that they may not be able to feel ‘together’ with anyone! Not God, nor a priest or pastor. Not a best friend, or close-knit community. She may feel lost and alone and even the reassurance that she isn’t won’t make that feeling dissipate. True loneliness and despair can begin to set.
You were born for this.
I am reminded of St Joan of Arc in this moment. As she faced immense pressure, knowing that she was about to take on the mightiest army on Earth at the time, when asked if she was afraid, she’s known to historically respond with a resounding, “I am not afraid; I was born for this.” We were made for this moment. Even though so much of the world may knock you down, you are not alone. It may be hard and it may feel like you are alone, but you aren’t. You may fear the loss of your friends and closest confidants because of what you’re struggling with, but you can always talk to us. We aren’t going anywhere.
You might be sitting there thinking, ‘you don’t know me, I am alone!’, or ‘you say that but it sure doesn’t feel like that, Mike!’. All are valid emotions. What I’m saying above is not meant to sound like trite words of encouragement. The thing that gives me hope is that I get to be a member of a team here at Cornerstone that works on providing life-changing, transformative assistance to everyone we can, and, if we can’t, get them in touch with someone who can.
Getting to the Roots
The reality is that loneliness and feelings of betrayal can often be the root of larger issues you may face. Issues ranging from depression and anxiety to addiction and compulsive behaviours, can all find their root in those wounds. Follow me for just a moment on this small tangent. I love sea grape. I don’t know that I had ever noticed it before I recently moved back to Palm Beach County. Maybe it’s because I live close to the water, but I see it everywhere and it inspired me to do some research. Sea grape is exceptional. Its roots are so strong and stable that it actually protects natural beaches. The sand that erodes from beachfront property everywhere else doesn’t erode from locations where sea grape is prevalent. Sea grape leaves also don’t decompose as quickly as other plant leaves, which means that even when they’ve fallen off, they continue to act to preserve the ground in which they’re planted. To the normal passer-by, the sea grape looks like an ordinary ‘hedge’, but to those in the know, they know the roots are incredibly deep and extremely strong.
To give this context, I ask a simple, yet complex question: what are your roots and are they helpful?
Think about it for a minute. Reflect on that. Your pain, your hurt, your struggles, are all rooted in experiences and hurts you’ve had over time. Those roots are thick and strong. And the leaves that you’re left with act as a shield or barrier from being able to heal. Those thick waxy leaves that you may think are helping you to keep going may also be blocking you from healing from the actual pain with which you struggle.
Thus, as we approach spring, to continue the gardening references, it’s time for us to till the garden. Uproot the pains and hurts you’re struggling with that lay at the root of your anxiety, depression, and inability to heal. And lest you think yourself alone, trust that we are here with you and for you. We believe in you and the power you have within you to get through what you’re experiencing. You are not alone; You were made for this!
For more on the idea of ‘You were born for this’, check out the podcast linked below.: