Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Regardless of the Pain, There is Still Joy

Lest you think it is all brow scrunching, hair pulling, and hand wringing here at the Lilypad as I work diligently through my difficulties, I want to be clear that I am ever mindful of the good, the love, the joy, the plenitude, and the moments of Pure Grace in which I am steeped.

I have bad days, hard days, days when my brain feels like pure mush, days during which forming coherent thoughts feels almost physically painful, days when taking a warm bath for its soothing effects is the peak of my "productivity."

But there are far more days when the pain of this hard work is much more subtle, like background noise that is slightly annoying but to which you become accustomed.

And of course, there are days when I feel I have made some amazing progress or breakthrough, though mainly, I am working to accept myself as I am and to not set unrealistic "goals" for this work that is far more precious and precarious than any goal that can be broken into bits on a to-do list.

My main point is that while I work on my brain and its pains, I am also living a beautiful life.

For instance, I have the tiniest, most tender bits of a new novel sitting on my computer's desktop, and I can feel whispers of what is to come with that work. My heart pitter patters at the possibilities.

I spend time, even in this extra crazy busy semester, trolling through iTunes looking for music for my movement class and being inspired by new little bits.

My faith grows and my heart expands even in light of this sometimes-feeling that I am standing at the base of a mountain, whose peak I cannot see.

I learn, day by day, ever deeper what Thomas Merton meant when he said that we are made for Joy, not for Pleasure.

Yes. Joy abides where pleasure fades. Joy remains steadfast, arms akimbo, staring down despair, whereas pleasure tucks his tail and runs the other way.


svasti said...

Not to mention that you have a gorgeous Toby kitten-in-a-box. That's pretty awesome right there!

I know so well what you speak of here. Life is light and shade, and we aren't just one-dimensional in what we feel. We can be both happy and sad, fearful and peaceful. And the rest.

The beauty it seems to me is the reminder of what's possible, what's waiting on a more permanent basis once we shuck off the pain properly.

I'm right there with you - in my own way. xo

tinkerbell the bipolar faerie said...

I have missed you! Having been at a recovery house (for women suffering from addiction) just outside Vancouver, where there is NO internet access, and various restrictions on my freedom, I've seemed silent in these parts. Alas, I've been learning about myself and also, learning how to live with 16 other (addicted) women. No small feat! LOL.

How interesting, your "Embody" graphic, because I have taken to doodling a sketching quite alot the past several weeks and that is precisely one of my favourite things to doodle. Yet, I've never seen your graphic until today. Is God trying to tell me something, perhaps?

I love your kitty-in-a-box! We have a cross-eyed siamese cat which we've named Simon who comes to our house. We all love to feed him little bits and bites (tho we're not supposed to, how could we resist?)

I do so love Thomas Merton's writings.

Wishing you well ...


Roxanne/Tinkerbell the Bipolar Faerie

Jaliya said...

"Joy abides where pleasure fades" ... So very true. Christine, your presence online has become one of my touchstones ... one of my persistent-faith sites to visit ... One of the places where I see proof that healing is not only possible, but is being done.

I have a saying that I heard from who knows where: Sometimes when a person asks me, "How are you?", I answer, "Up and down like a toilet seat at a fun fair..." and it usually gets a laugh. Occasionally, I get peered at like I've got two heads ... ;-D

Christine, you already have accomplished so much. You teach, you mentor, you dance, you insist on goodness (I'm loving your wee Facebook updates about good things!) ...

I am stir-crazy with wanting to come back to a useful life ... I have not worked (been employed) for nearly three years ... There are still too many of those days when taking a shower or feeding my cats is a feat ... when I feel utterly useless and a waste of space ... Part of what keeps me going is knowing that other people who have been struck down by trauma are reviving, releasing, restoring ...

Bless you, joy-bug :-)

Ashley @ Nourishing the Soul said...

You are truly a beautiful writer. Thanks for sharing this. Could re-work the title to "Because of the pain, there is joy"...

Bob Weisenberg said...

You are a beautiful writer, Christine. I look forward to reading your novel someday.

Bob W.

belladawn said...

Thanks! I have been living in my head for a long time. I have not been living for me. It seems I start and stop, start and stop. I get pulled back into old ways. I have always been learning and growing but in small ways. It is time to take big steps. Your words have always resonated with me and I let taking care of others come before taking care of myself and living my life how I see it. I have said before that you are an inspiration. I choose to live my life authentically.

Love and light.