It is quite the arduous task to persevere with the constancy of a positive mindset as pain lurks in the shadows of eternity. There are countless external elements that fuel the eternal engine of thought with damaging matter. For the longest time I thought negative circumstance was just assumed to be a revolving door in this life and that all negative reaction but mere instinct of the mind. But now it seems that all suffering is good for at the end of a rainy day is to be drenched in its own doubt. I never believed that positive thought—even in the excruciations of pain—was something one could consider permanent.
Let me be the first to admit that I was wrong. My frame of mind has recently undergone this sort of revival. It was when I gave Him complete clearance to conduct this train I call life in whatever direction He has planned, was when the light of positivity began to shine wherever I looked. It was in this glimmer of shimmering humility, after a winter’s rain, when shone the sun within and as the clouded past is now behind me. The sunshine on my soul speaks with this clarity unlike anything I’ve ever felt and the words fell as follows.
“A jagged shadow of mountains sifts through the western sky spreading shades of day-glow orange, mixed in with the night and it’s lacking light. They do collide well enough to satisfy the backdrop of infinity. A river with its gilded slivers runs reflecting with amethyst hints as it breaks away from below my feet, branching off towards the darkened trusses of a burnt out bridge.”
A sensation washes over me from the gut of my soul. I am not in the depths of prayer. There is just something about this moment He either wants me to learn from or remember. Neither of these thoughts of mine are guaranteed to be true, but it was then that I didn’t feel any pain, but relief in the belief that the beauty waiting down His path will be unlike anything I’ve ever imagined.
Keep your face to the sun and you will never see shadows.
Something happens to a person when the imagination gets lost in a sunset. As one gazes with depth at the grandiosity of night and day colliding, the eye of the soul starts to open. The humbling beauty of God somehow manages to paint us with shades of humility as we come to understand how insignificant we really are. We begin to see the world in a new light, everything takes its proper shape, and even pain begins to find its comfort zone.
In order to contemplate the wide horizon of life, we must climb out of our self-centered ways and rise to a safer height of hope. One begins to understand, that the center of being isn’t within us, but it is in God, this is when everything starts to fall into the right place away from the endless ditches of pain.
Humility in its metaphysical meaning is the heroic conquest of selfhood and an ascent to the heights of spiritual soundness. Humility means to escape from one’s superficial self-image and from the asphyxiating atmosphere of one’s own limited self into the pure air of cosmic life. Far from being opposed to freedom, humility is an expression of freedom. Nothing or anyone in this world can force humility upon us—we can only arrive at it ourselves, through pain and suffering, and God.
The heart, sick with wounded love and left defenseless, bleeds from the countless arrows that pierce at it throughout life’s longevity. Only spiritual humility does well to defend us against the agonizing pain of the heart’s growth. Once pain truly humbles one, genuine growth begins and the heart begins to heal. Humility has always been aimed away from self-love and it is the arrow that impales the wound of pride, and from that pierced arrow blooms a softer kind of holistic healing with God applying the bandage. This bandage is something we call love and as He wraps it around our heart comes a feeling of love, like none have ever felt.
It’s a feeling of love, and not in the sense of self-love but this kind of love for everything, every outcome, and every circumstance that didn’t go your way. You must let it all go and leave it to Him sitting above the top of these stars to conspire over. It is then, that the positive side of pain is first recognized as freedom. It is unopposed freedom, freedom from inner conflict, freedom from an enslaved mind, but most of all its freedom from all of our pain and suffering. It is the radiant freedom of His unconditional love.
Love is a force, a radiation of beneficent, soul-giving energy, like the love most of us have for our children. It is the victory over all the false passions of love that provide the soul with the purest of power. It is through Christ that this power calls to us. The whole of moral goodness consists in acquiring this spiritual power through pain and prayer while conquering the darkness of natural life.
Christ endeavors us to overcome the external world and not submit to its ways. Humility is not a submission to it; on the contrary, it is a refusal to submit, and a movement along the edge of great resistance. And yet the empowering love of Christ and spiritual morality is exceptionally simple. Simplicity, indeed, is the humbled secret to living a life full of love, for complexity means division and weakness. To live a simple life, where love cascades from the sky like snowflakes fallen from heaven is easy and can be accomplished. You just have to accept the pain for the growth that it is, and be ever ready to shine for the happiness that waits with a brand new day. Now let us pray.
I understand that most of my life, at most times I move to fast for my own good—I have often felt like Asahel in the Book of Samuel. I often go running these days, to clear my head, and there have been days that I just wanted to run away from it all, from writing, from responsibility, from the truth of who I was meant to be, or even the truth of who I am. In the end, I have been running from the pain, and even in the pain felt in my legs, the goodness, I can feel it growing deep within me. I do, I believe in the light of You shining within me, and it is Your show now, I give You complete reign. I am more or less the protagonist and the antagonist all rolled into the main character who writes his story while searching for his grail.
Pain grows in the absence of joy, and joy cannot be grown without pain. It is imperative to let pain grow with God, until it is time for the wound to bloom. And this alone, is the positive side of pain. This darkness, this coming to Jesus moment, this is faith, and from this faith sprouts joy. And as the sun creeps back around, the path shines clear.