Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Praying Our Goodbyes by Joyce Rupp

Every once in a while we get in touch with this truth (goodbyes) in us. It is not sadness exactly, not a hurt or a pain as such but some tremendously deep voice that cries out in bittersweet agony.

Inner ache is present when we recognize the fleetingness of all that we know and all that we cling to upon this good earth.

In blue days that seem to have no cause, it raises its voice when everything in our lives is going smoothly.

True self-love means not trying to escape from ourselves, but listening to the voices within us.

That aloneness is an integral part of being human, and an essential element in love.

Goodbyes are part of every single day. Sometimes we choose them, and sometimes they choose us.

What is goodbye? It is an empty place in us. Goodbyes are any of those times when we find ourselves without a someone or something that has given our life meaning and value when our life seems unfulfilled.

Goodbyes create a certain space in us where we allow ourselves room to look at life in perspective and to gradually discover answers to some of those questions about life.

The pain is overwhelming, often too deep for tears. The sorrow of it can pervade one's whole self and hurt in every part of one's being.

No two people say goodbye in exactly the same way and no two people suffer their farewells in the same way, but suffer they do.

When we grieve, we leave behind someone or something very precious to us.

It is hard to go on believing and trying to live during times of great loss.

One Liners: This too, will pass / In the end, it will be okay / God will provide / No pain-no gain / Be good to yourself / Even a perfect egg must break for a new life to begin / Life is what we make it.

The one who has a why to live can bear with almost any how. --Nietzsche

When a man finds that it is his destiny to suffer, he will have to accept that suffering as his task; the single unique task. He will have to acknowledge the fact that even in suffering he is unique and alone in the universe. No one can relieve him of the suffering or suffer in his place. His unique opportunity lies in the way in which he bears his burden.

Goodbye can hold many goodbyes.

There so much within us that needs to come to life. Moments of suffering, times of goodbye, can cause us to peer inside our own tombs of unfinishedness or incompleteness and we can discover vast storehouses of resiliency, vitality, fidelity, love and endurance.

When our suffering refines us in such a way that it leads to an inner change or transformation that positively affects our life or that of others, it becomes creative suffering.

I think that what we suffer in this life (the goodbyes) can never be compared to the glory (the hello) as yet unrevealed which is waiting for us.

Home is the place we are always going to but never arrive.

To descend into the depths of ourselves we must be willing to risk losing the security and safety.

Knowing that all is on loan enables us not to fight so much when we are asked to let go.

Naming our goodbye and the hurt may add to our pain initially because we see how real it is.

We take the hurt of the loss which we have identified and we give it to our full attention. We sit with it, look at it, face it even though it grieves us to do so.

Act out once grief by:
-sharing a meal with a friend as a love-bond with someone who nourishes us in our emptiness. (Good thing God provides me with these kind of people in times of grief)
-emptying and cleaning closets or boxes while we are ridding ourselves of some inner clutter. (Maybe, I could consider this a good reason why I am very, very OC at times.)
-looking at photo albums when we need to remember the love and joy that past journeys have offered us. (I keep photos, love photographs)
-writing a letter in a lonely time as a reminder of connections of love that we still have. ( I blog)

Touch can penetrate barriers of despair, anguish, hardness or bitterness. A kiss on the cheek, a quiet embracce, arms linked (I often do this) or hands held are powerful movements in our ritualization of goodbyes.

Many times I have looked at an image or have taken on some movement of farewell and have been blessed with an insight or a sense of meaning that was not there before. I reoriented my life.

Moving on usually comes slowly.

The reality of moving on is this: we can never do so until we let go of whatever binds us to the past.

If we have a memory that eats away at our integrity or an anger that gnaws at our peace, we will not move on in freedom. It will always be there to stir up negative feelings in us.

Letting go never seems to get easy, and growth will not happen unless you can really surrender.

To let go does not mean that we give up or that we do not care. Rather, it means that we choose to use our energies in another way, giving them another direction.

We continue to care deeply but we also realize that we cannot change what is.

To let go does not mean that we ignore old ragged and torn feelings and memories, or that we fail to recall the loved ones whom we miss so much. When these memories knock at the door of consciousness, we open the door to see who is there and we acknowledge them. But we do not invite them in to spend the entire day with us.

Put behind us whatever has power over us to negatively influence our feelings. It is never complete until it is acted upon.

We would rather cling to the present pain, the deadness, or the lack of life, than face what is foreign and unknown, no matter how good it is for us.

We cherish the good memories and set aside the bad ones.

It can be extremely painful to finally accept a friend as he is, to his their flaws and weaknesses and to love him in his incompleteness. It can be a harsh experience for a someone to let go of "the friend they hoped for" and to accept "the friend that they have".

Old injuries of the heart: We all have them. They claim a lot of our energy at times. It maybe a person who never liked us, or the one who destroyed us with jealousy or untruths or the one who wiped us out of silence.

Let go of inner securities as well.

If we want to let go, we must first recognize what it is that needs letting go; then we need to accept the wisdom and the necessity of not clinging to it. It is not easy to do this.

Surrender walks hand in hand with letting go--to give up our power over something that keeps us down or holds us back.

Surrender raises hard questions.

Part of what keeps surrender from happening in us is our desire to be in control of everyone and everything. We simply know that life doesn't always happen in our way and in our time no matter how hard we try to work it out in our own control system.

To surrender is to have willingness to be in another's hands, especially in God's hands, to be open to surprises and gifts we never dreamed possible.

To surrender is to live with a mind and heart that is open to the future and to trust that all shall be well.

This is what kinship is all about: the gift of one to the other. It may be the kinship of a good friend, a friend whose heart is our second home, or it may be the kinship which we have with others because of a mutual experience which newly bonds us together in time of need.

Love endures and goes on, in spite of all the feelings of grief inside us.

Be aware of your feelings. Accept what cannot be changed, be willing to let go. Be good to yourself by gifting yourself each day with little gestures of kindness. Open yourself to people.

The pattern is unending: hello-goodbye-hello.

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