let life unfold

I believe that sometimes, pain is just pain.

Sometimes it just hurts.

Until we see the face of God, we mostly won’t know the why. Even then, I’m not sure there will be a neat bow-tie at the end.

In the waiting, I don’t want to moralize my pain. I refuse to connect the dots at someone who is hurting in the lowest bottom of their soul. I cannot pretty-up grief with retrospective hindsight or poetic reflection. I will not diminish someone’s tragedy into an allegory. I cannot take a human wound and flip it into a cute outline for my logical sensibilities. Pain sucks. It’s dirty. It’s not fit for books and movies. It doesn’t always resolve. It’s not romantic. It doesn’t need an answer or a fix-it-all. That drives me crazy, but nearly every answer has always come up short and trite and impractical. Pain is a terrible teacher who we try to force answers from, but maybe we’re demanding something that it can’t give.

I want to let pain be as it is, because it’s part of what makes us human. It’s to be experienced, not always explained. I’m trying to be okay with that. I’m trying to live with the wounds. I want to let life unfold, not to escape or avoid or deny, but to let the deepest hurt become part of me, a part of our human story.
—  J.S. from Mad About God
What to do when the person you love gets cancer (volume 2).

First things first, don’t read this blog. Don’t read any blogs at all. Don’t go to Webmd. Don’t Google it. Don’t even think about googling it. Don’t even tempt yourself by using Google for other things, just set your default search for Ask.com so there’s no way you could ever possibly find the search result you’re looking for.

The Internet is good at so many things, but reassuring someone that their cancer-stricken wife/husband/son/brother/best friend is gonna be a-okay just isn’t one of them. The Internet should recognize that and just focus on its strengths (Twitter, photos of baby giraffes, online shopping) but no, it insists on housing tons and tons of “information” that will fill you with anxiety dreams where the stairs fall out from beneath you as you’re climbing to the top of a tall building.

Aside from a King-size bed, the best gift we’ve given ourselves is our naÏveté, a gift made possible by tossing out every brochure and avoiding every online forum and letting our life unfold as it was going to, regardless of whatever I typed into that search bar.

It’s the gift of our own experience – good and bad – and I wouldn’t trade it for anything on the Internet. Not even a baby giraffe.

At the beginning, it was scary. And I’d end each day with a bottle of wine and my arms around Aaron hoping that when I woke up it would all be over, a dream within a dream within a dream that I’d shake off while wiping the sleep from my eyes.

I wanted to opt out of the difficult and terrifying parts before they even began, to undergo a general anesthesia for life that would put me into a gentle twilight sleep and lull me back into consciousness when Aaron was cured and our normal life came out of hiding and sad, “Gotcha! It was just a prank! Relax!”

Every time it’s been scary and every time we get through it I’m relieved that my wish to be numb never came true. Because I wouldn’t have missed out on the hard part of life, I’d have missed out on our life

Which brings me to the second point: this is hard. And not everyone can handle it. 

You’ll be surprised at who isn’t there, who doesn’t show up, who fades away…but you won’t miss them, not really, because other people will step in and take their place. 

It’s not who you expect, but of course, when they arrive it’s like your life was missing a hole that was just their shape, and they’ve finally come to fill it. 

Your circle will change, but the center will not, because you’re there. 

So hold hands. Squeeze three times. 

That’s how we say I love you, in the quiet before we review new scans, in the dark before we fall asleep, in the car or at the movies or putting away the dishes.

A secret little code I’ll share with you because there’s nothing like knowing you’re in it – all of it – together.

ICYMI: Here’s Volume 1.

Let life unfold without identity. Leave Space for the unexpected. Give up the habit of predicting, interpreting and projecting. Simply stay in the neutrality of Being so that you perceive all from the Heart-mind.
—  Mooji
When I finally learned to let go of having to totally control everything around me and let my life unfold, I was stunned by the results.
How could I have ever thought I could outsmart the universe?
—  Geri Larkin