Friday, November 3, 2017

When The Great Grief Cry Is Answered

Sometimes we feel abandoned, bereft, alone in a way that can paralyze or send us frantically running in circles. If we believe a sacred Presence is always with us, but we are experiencing a heart-aching loneliness, we can add to our suffering with self-blame and deep shame. Last weekend, in the midst of shared prayers, words arose that surprised me. I found myself asking for forgiveness for feeling (in the last years of my marriage) that God had abandoned me. At the time the experience had left me drowning in a sea of sorrow, and my shame had rendered me silent. The Presence that had always been there, the Sacred Mystery that had gotten me through a tumultuous childhood- I simply could not find it, could not feel it. I was lost. And then, this poem found me, and I used it as a prayer. I could not, with my will, re-establish my experience of that which I believed was still with and within me, but my "grief cry" was heard. And in a grace-filled moment I experienced, once again, being held in the arms of infinite Love. My relief was so great it left me trembling and filled with gratitude. ~Oriah Pushing Through It’s possible I am pushing through solid rock in flintlike layers, as the ore lies, alone; I am such a long way in I see no way through, and no space: everything is close to my face, and everything close to my face is stone. I don’t have much knowledge yet in grief so this massive darkness makes me small. You be the master: make yourself fierce, break in: then your great transforming will happen to me, and my great grief cry will happen to you. by Rainer Maria Rilke (Translated by Robert Bly) As in this photo by Karen Davis at Open Door Dreaming, there is incredible beauty in the moment when the darkness gives way to the searing beauty of dawn.


4 comments:

  1. It is reassuring to hear you felt relief, right now I am convinced that God has abandoned me, there is simply nowhere to turn, the rock is in my face, as per the poem.

    The little energy I gather is gone before 10 AM, the depression and devastation of the end of my own marriage, in the brutal way in which it was broken, left me shivering, broken and undone.

    I read the poem and re-read it.

    You be the master: make yourself fierce, break in

    I am out of ideas of where to look for help. Borderline cynical, trust-less, craving death.

    your great transforming power. Why is it taking so long.

    Is there pleasure in "your" power to see me struggle? trembling naked, crying in the bathroom at work?

    Does the pain really need to be this big?

    Can it end?

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    1. Claudia, I am so sorry you are going through such pain. I will tell you what has helped me when the pain is extreme and no end is in sight. What I know for sure is that this will change- because all things do. You ONLY job right now, us ti keep breathing, to stay here- so that when changes come you will be here for them and be able to create a new life. I have had times when it helped me to get that my job was to stay alive- and to use anything that was not self-destructive that would help me stay alive. So, I went for a long slow walk, or watched a movie that engaged me or listened to a podcast that entertained me. And I counted as "success" arriving at the end of the day still here. I think that when we are in despair the mind starts racing ahead, wondering what will happen next week, next year. It helps to stay here, now- this breath. Also, working with a therapist that can be companion in the grief, can help a great deal(it helped me immeasurably)- and I would urge you to find someone (and sometimes we have to try a few folks until we find one who is a fit for us.) Sending prayers. May you be gentle with yourself and let yourself be here. It will change. Sending love and prayers, oriah

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  2. Thank you Oriah. I believe your words for now as I can't believe my thoughts.

    I am making it to the end of the day so far, and it is different to see it as success.

    You bring a very good point, maybe I don't need to be the super person my mind says I am failing at being. Maybe just taking care and making it to the end of one day, today, is enough.

    I will practice this.

    I will write when things change.

    Love

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    1. Claudia, Would love to hear from you as things begin to change. You can always email me at mail@oriah.org Much love and many blessings, Oriah

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