Monday, August 8, 2016

What Feeds You?

Last weekend I got hurt by someone I loved.  Bad hurt.  Like a dagger in the heart hurt.

I guess we all make certain assumptions about what so-and-so would never do or that such-and-such would never happen.  Then, it happens.  And it's either a dream come true, or a nightmare you hadn't imagined. 

I struggle between knowing that I must forgive and move on, and honoring my feelings, acknowledging them, and grieving.  I know if I don't feel my feelings, think my thoughts, and get in touch with the hurt and anger, then the forgiveness will just be a form of denying reality. 

However, forgiveness is also an act of the will.  "Father forgive them, they know not what they do." It doesn't mean I feel like forgiving.  I can ask God to forgive without the emotions behind it, knowing that it's the right thing to do.  I can also still grieve, feel sick, sad, and angry, even having forgiven.

There's a balance between acknowledging and feeling the truth, and wallowing in it to the point of bitterness.  There's also a balance between forgiveness as an act of the will and being so free that it's as if it never happened. 

I tried to pray, to meditate, to invite God into this.  

Over time, I got two messages.  

One is, "Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace."   It sounds so nice when you're thinking about world peace, doves, or resolving the violence of war and poverty.  When it hits closer to home, being an instrument of peace can be very, very hard. 

The other message is, "Take and eat, this is my body given up for you."  What are we receiving when we receive God?  Unconditional Love.  That was the message I got.

Yes, I believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  But, what that meant to me this time wasn't a message about the theology of trans-substantiation, it was a message that I need to focus on what it is that's feeding me.  If I am receiving The Word Made Flesh into my body and soul, then I need to feed on that.  Rather than feeding on my hurt or on the wrongs of others, I need to feed on Christ, who loves me more than I can imagine. 

Once I was able to grieve and acknowledge my hurt, I moved on to focus less on the hurt and more on the unconditional love of God.  The reason these human hurts sting so badly is that we know there is an infinite, perfect love out there.  We long for it.  We are disappointed when humans deliver something less than that.  We have to feed on the right things.   

I'm not saying I have it all figured out and that my heart is all bandaged up now.  It's a work in progress.  I imagine that choosing what I focus on will need to be a conscious effort for quite a while until I can move on a little better from this.

One final thought is that I realize that I need to pray for those involved in hurting me.
They are screwed up people, just like me.  When I was so focused on the hurt and grief that their actions caused me, I couldn't pray for them.  Now I can.  Just a little bit.  And they really, really need it.  

What feeds you?  

Is it your own sick thoughts of revenge?  Is it your human understanding, which is only a small slice of reality?  Is it an idolization of another person, who may eventually fail you?

Feed on the feast of Christ, the wedding supper of the Lamb, the Bread of Life.  Eternal Life, Unconditional Love.

There's a feast waiting, you just have to accept the invitation to that meal.