Wednesday, March 31, 2010

EVEN BETTER

The life built on the fundamental principle of enhancement will always see the opportunities to improve such things, capitalise and be thankful.

This is mastery of not only a life well-lived but of joy also.

There is a great wisdom in seeing the state that’s foreseen as originally good i.e. perfectly acceptable, then all of a sudden when realised it somehow turns out better, all for a slight, unanticipated change. This serendipity, in actual fact, is a great boon for the person who enjoys same.

Even better; it’s the licking of one’s lips at the sheer brilliance of plans that work out even more favourable than desired.

And these things happen to us all the time, certainly on frequent occasions weekly—if we care to notice.

The key wisdom is seeing this. This is spiritual sight of insight.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

We Are More Than Food

WE LIVE IN A GLOBAL SOCIETY CENTRALISED ON FOOD. There’s either too much of it in many regions, which has created this global obesity epidemic, or there’s not enough—aid agencies always appalled at the drastic lack, the malnutrition, and unjust imbalance of worldly wealth in terms of bodily sustenance.

Add to this, the Western world apparently throws out in scraps what the poorest countries could easily re-deploy as adequate food aid.

I want to focus here on the former side—the richer regions of the world and their apparent overuse or misuse of food and its devastating personal effects.

Food, and our use (or abuse) of it, is generally a poignant example of life for all of us. Who in the Western world has not overeaten or eaten for comfort? I know I’ve used food inappropriately, binged at the pantry and fridge, and taken stock delight in a block or two of chocolate etc.

None of us are perfect. We’ve all, I’m sure, overextended ourselves.

It seems to me there are two sides to this debate. There are those—the majority—who partake greatly in consuming food i.e. 1) they have too much of it in one sitting, or 2) the inappropriate foods with poor nutritional content are consumed, or 3) they overeat (point 1) or consume (those in point 2) too regularly, indicating a dangerous habit has formed, or 4) a combination of two or all three of these has taken shape in the person’s life. An abnormally high percentage of the population is affected.

The other side is the industry of ‘food police’ championing the fight against the problem in the first place. These people are fighting a losing battle.

What is it with food? Surely, we are more than food. Surely, we can get a handle on this and keep proper management of these tents (i.e. bodies) we’ve been given.

I’ve tried numerous methods to control my food intake—to the end of affecting to a degree all four of the problems mentioned above.

There’s the 1-2-3 Diet and my 1,000 hours ideas... and there are many more, and the only limit is our imaginations. Gaining or regaining that hungry-feel—the only way I know to truly get (and stay!) leaner—is not a hard thing to do, but to do it consistently requires focus and a plan, and some real self-discipline in the early going, indeed throughout.

From my own personal experience it takes me 2-7 days to consistently eat smaller and less portions in order that I wake hungry, or become routinely hungry before I eat again.

Note to self: I should not actually eat unless I’m actually hungry.

There is hope for you if you have a food consumption problem. Life and light beckons. All it will take is focus and a plan and persistence. If you’re truly serious about your health, acknowledge now that it might take you 2-3 years before: 1) you have your eating patterns under control, and 2) your weight has dropped enough to be satisfied with. It might seem like a long time—a tremendous journey, but you’ve really got nothing to lose.

Some might say habits can be broken in thirty or forty days. New habits can take years to implement with positive and permanent effect. This shouldn’t deter us.

Whatever you do, jettison the 5-week or 10-week diet idea! It is so unfortunate that there is still the bewildering amount of mainstream money-grabbing diets that major on the quick-fix—just about all of the ones commercially available don’t go for root cause because they skirt hardship.

Our culture hates hardship. But hardship is part of life. The quicker we accept this, the quicker we can go on to that great revelation that life was always designed to become for us.

Go for the lifestyle fix, admitting there are certain foods it’s best to abstain from if they prove impossible to control. Fit the right lifestyle fix, as far as food’s concerned, to you and your mind; the way you work. Only you can truly do this (apart from any expert help you might need). Only you can implement and sustain the choices you make.

At its most basic, the problem exists in self-honesty. Don’t deny your problems—they won’t go away by themselves or by your ignoring them.

You can change and you can succeed. The result: a more happy, at-peace, vibrant and self-empowered person will remain—and there will not be ‘too much’ of you.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Pushing Your Faith

FAITH IS THE STUFF OF THE IMPOSSIBLE. Whatever limits we’ve placed on ourselves are usually obliterated by faith. Faith sets sail from the coastland named “fear,” nipping at the waves of courage—taking on its precious water as crucial ballast—as it goes. It takes on brightly the chiding joys of new frontiers.

With each temptation to say, “No,” faith says an emphatic, “Yes!”

And with each frontier taken on and conquered this faith stretches us further in an interminable confidence that further casts into the unknown any notional boundaries or limits.

Pushing our faith is about identifying those boundaries, in wisdom, that we are destined to push past. We, by our very nature, severely underestimate our capacities as far as faith is concerned.

What is it in life that’s currently holding you back?

You’ve been struggling long enough; finding the heart, the poise and ‘the right time’ to express that faith you have in you—if but a pipedream at this present stage. You’ve yet to take hold of this ground; the awesome promise that awaits. It’s yours for the taking.

Wisdom is critical, however. The wisdom to plan, to anticipate problems, to execute the plan at the right time and in the right way; and it is wisdom finally to sustain the act of faith in realising the dream. In the language of faith, action is the insistent and resounding spoken word—it separates the doer from the dreamer.

Faith—or lack of it, more appropriately—is what stands between us and our goals; all of them.

Most people commonly don’t think of the impossible being realistically possible, but many things are possible if we believe they are. And this is faith. To believe the urge that comes from within us, to give that urge a voice and its day of hearing, and to back the voice in, finding it expression without giving way to the apathy or mediocrity we’re all tempted to buckle to.

Faith really is what life is all about. It is our task in life to engage with faith—for we all have it—and to then push it to a higher measure of its potential, ever after.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Man (or Woman) in the Mirror

“I’m starting with the man in the mirror, I’m asking him to change his ways, and no message could have been any clearer, if you want to make the world a better place.”

~Michael Jackson, Man in the Mirror, 1988.

This song is deeply spiritual as it talks in essence about one’s relationship with self—the God linkage—for one cannot truly know him or herself without knowing God, the Maker of the being.

When we think about it, there are many things that cause us frustration in this life—the way the world is and how everything works, and indeed, how we perceive it to be falling apart. To live without hope; that’s just an obvious default. It’s easy to fall into this thinking. We only have to watch the News habitually.

Yet, when all of that is stripped away and we simply come; coming to the mirror, to gaze at the person responsible for living a clean, simple life, we see that the changes we desire with the world really lie at base, with us. We are the only ones we can change. And to make any real impact on the world we can only do so if we put ourselves in order, fundamentally to our core—our meaning, our purpose, our centred being.

When we strip the world away—by staring into that mirror—everything for that time is introspection. A whole world of positive change beckons in this one being we’re responsible for.

And when we hook into this vision of the self and what the self can do to right itself, we begin clamouring for humility and the little growth steps that, for a time, forget the sordid world outside its doors. The focus is inside; spiritual spring-cleaning has taken root. And freed we are of the anxiousness that ‘the world’ foists upon us.

Suddenly—and strangely—we’re happier. We see a thing to change and we do so. We are blessed; commensurately, a tad confident. Then the next thing is done, and the next and so on. During the rebuilding and spiritual renovation phase we’re hardly worried about the world at all—it all pales into insignificance.

Then the strangest thing happens; our faith blooming, and at more peace than we’ve experienced in years, we begin to see the world as it has always been—a most beautiful place with hardly a wrinkle; we even see the vast good that people are doing. The rubbish is inconsequential.

The man (or woman) in the mirror—with an all-patient God assisting—can do all this!

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Saying Goodbye to Some ‘Old Friends’

SUBSTANCE USE OR ABUSE PROBLEMS and a whole raft of self-control issues, and the person’s fight with them, are characterised by a cyclic phenomenon: the continual ‘saying goodbye to those “old” friends’—friends, mind you, that cling hard to the person trying to escape them. This describes anything from a bad habit taken hold to dependency to full-strength addiction.

Why do I know? I’ve been in the cycle of saying goodbye to some old friends—I’ve done it dozens of times. This would be an outrageously conservative statement.

Yet, saying goodbye defeats the purpose—if there is a problem of dependence or addiction it’s a waste of time rationalising with a “goodbye” to the substance or endeavour we’re so in amid of; this is simply because it’s our very nature to forever put off the action we feel most of the time we need to take.

And the madness is this: we vacillate violently between poles on a mental/emotional roller coaster. We go from wanting to give up and saying goodbye ‘one last time,’ and the moment we consume or partake we’re duped right there—and we know... ‘Oops, I did it again,’ as the Britney Spears song would go.

One of the worst things when I was in this cycle was I felt like not only should I have responded better, I knew better. I was a professional advocate against these issues in a workplace environment. This only increased my shame. Where was my sense of self-control? I felt I didn’t have any.

And though it was always nice to delay that thing that I felt—on the one hand it was a discretionary thing to stop, on the other (for my long term health and sanity and to deal with the almost constant cognitive dissonance) I didn’t really have a choice—I was in a mental no-man’s-land.

We always like to come back to those things ‘of home’ that make life comfortable, familiar and easier to bear, don’t we?

The wisdom, however, that says, ‘I give that thing away now, I’m “saying goodbye,”’ is vast because it recognises, without a drastic change, the rocks will loom larger—and though they’re still some distance off—we’re almost certainly destined to be marooned against them if we don’t do something, now.

But, it’s a tough call for the person with the problem. They’re easily confused. Their allegiances are split seemingly down the middle.

The bizarre thing with dependency issues is there’s no law against it. There’s no law stopping the consumption of a thing or the partaking of it, or any endeavour (for instance, gambling). It has less direct impacts that impinge on health, be they physical, mental, emotional, spiritual or relational.

The worst of the problem, when we’ve said goodbye to the old friend i.e. we’ve had ‘one last go at it,’ is we come from a position of weakness, not strength. We’re depressed and certainly at a low ebb so far as our self-esteem is concerned.

Of course, to give the thing up before we say goodbye in the way mentioned just above i.e. we don’t have ‘one last go,’ requires the courage of sacrifice—to miss out—but in this we draw a direct moral strength that helps our burgeoning resolve. And it’s a firm resolve we most need.

The truth is you can live without the thing. Millions do so every day—and they’re happy. Decide now, not afterwards. One day at a time, with the right mind, love and support, you can beat this thing.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

SILENT SIGNIFICANCE

“No trumpets sound when the important decisions of life are made. Destiny is made known silently.”

Agnes de Mille.

The intent of our lives is made known in our momentary, passing action—every decision made, no matter how minor. This is that which easily escapes our conscious minds. No matter how morally diligent we think we are, our decisions will tell the truth one way or the other.

We may wish to live a particular way and even reinforce it to great extent but unless we actually “do” the living of it, we’ll forever chase an unattainable mirage.

This is a great and timeless truth—we all identify with it.

The silent seconds tick by and by our very breath we make our way. In perfect linear fashion we breathe in and then breathe out and so on; a very classic symbol of the lives we lead; one decision following the previous one—all of which make the person—their very life.

And what on earth does all this mean for us?

We really must see that even with our most minute decision, the angels in heaven hold their breath in lively anticipation with what we’ll actually do. And yet, we’ll often think absolutely nothing of these decisions; perhaps until later on, or maybe never.

Living in the moment enough to entrap these processes is the very art of living with the context of destiny firmly in the forefront of both heart and mind.

That is the smart life.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Life in Recovery – When Life Returns (or Becomes) Normal (Again)

I’M NOT SURE IF THERE ARE MANY PEOPLE who know I had a drinking problem; indeed, I used substances i.e. plural. This was before God showered me with his wonderful revelation, facilitated by the collapse of my first marriage.

Some may think me all sorts of things for being so frank, but there are many people who need to know what life after substance use and abuse is about; it gives them hope.

Without going into blow by blow descriptions of what ‘I got up to,’ it is helpful to know that I was a binge weekend drinker for over ten years. (I was unfortunately “blessed” with high tolerance to alcohol. The dangers for me were the long term health effects.) The day after my then wife wanted a ‘trial separation’ (as if there ever was such a thing), citing my drinking as part of the reason, I went to my first AA meeting.

I committed my heart to it. For the next eleven months I attended 159 AA meetings (sometimes five or six evenings a week) and after doing ‘the Steps (four and five)’ was secretary of my local meeting each Thursday night. I then felt the distinct tug of God calling me to “graduate” from AA and focus on church alone—this was a bold move but it has worked for me because God was behind it. I got involved in ministry, studied and then ministered in my own right.

But AA taught me many things about humility, service, repentance, the Twelve Steps (which I undertook and continue to do today), and love—for instance, the love of a sponsor. Why else would someone spend five hours of his Sunday night with me so I could do a thorough admission of my wrongs before God and him (i.e. Step 5)?

The point is I was healed of my propensity to drink, and cope with the pressures of life that way, overnight. I never missed it. I asked God to heal me of it and he did. I was so determined to put my marriage back together I turned my life around 180 degrees and maintained every change easily when previously it had been seemingly impossible. And yet, I have never missed drinking. Indeed, I love sobriety! I’ll never drink again.

Life in recovery is a one-day-at-a-time process. There are tough times when we simply ‘let go and let God.’ I don’t believe recovery is possible without God—AA advocates a ‘Power greater than ourselves,’ a.k.a. God. AA is basically a Christian program without being overtly invasive in its approach. It’s a recovery program based on Jesus’ love in my view.

For the person who’s suffered the shame of not being able to control what they drink or consume (i.e. drugs) these matters are so perplexing; life is base misery. These people are ordinarily so capable and yet they still cannot control the demon drink or the chastening drug—their lack of control overwhelms them in hopelessness. I know. The cycle just continues.

There is hope. But I have to say, in my direct case personally, it was salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ that saved me, cleansing me of my sin, setting me on a clear path out of dependency and clear into his sanctified grace.

There is also hope in the knowledge that we’re not the only ones; many, many more suffer in silence—lonely and confused about their disease. And that’s what we’re dealing with; a spiritual disease. The only way we can truly be saved is through a Saviour—our very own, personal Saviour, Jesus.

The cool thing is, this Spirit of God heals us in such personal ways, we know he knows us intimately—we know his forgiveness and grace; and we know where we please God we have no need to please another soul—the pressure I mean.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

NB: Facebook friend reminder: I’m incommunicado for the next 48 hours.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A BEAUTIFUL MIND

The beauty and desire of every living human being is the symphony of thought manifest in virtuous action—to the good.

And the wonderful thing is the back-up we get in our expressed faith to grow to ascend to our potential, transcending our former selves.

And it is the Author of Life who backs us every time, surprising us when and how frequently he arrives—on-scene—to turn “on” that rich cognitive tap. We fall in love with his constancy and regularity; and so the mind is even further enriched.

This is indeed our richest spiritual investment; a well-soiled, rooted, watered and established garden of the soul; protecting its occupier—a further manifestation of God’s design of provision, sufficiency and grace.

Fear is the greatest threat to the weak mind—or should it be said, the mind in a weak momentary state. The more we invest in the health and wellbeing of our minds the less fear we will experience.

And it beckons:

“The most significant change in a person’s life is a change of attitude. Right attitudes produce right actions.”

~William J. Johnston.

The mind is central to the right attitude; absolutely pivotal. How we can derive benefit so directly from all our mind-investments is a pure marvel.

The mind is the direct channel to the spirit. We must feed our minds good and deter them from evil, waste, and mal-nourishing things which will only alienate us emotionally and spiritually.

When we make it our mission to find our purpose and then invest our minds into that venture, we find we’re rapidly invincible and that we’re very quickly transcending ourselves.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

“AND” Power

Don’t get me wrong with this message... this is not an excuse for busyness. But, it is a reason and a vehicle for much POWER.

We exist in an age—that called “humanity”—where we readily see options to do this, that or the other. Why, instead, don’t we see the very real possibilities for doing things in tandem and concurrently?

This is not doing everything; it’s merely being open to the possibilities—in faith—for what might be possible or the best potential-realised or thing required for the time and situation.

We too often shut out possibilities without thinking broadly about their application. We think in such linear fashion with accord to time and generally only for the present costs and consequences, when we could hold out for a better time to decide; closer to the actual point of decision.

Being open to an “and” instead of simply an “or” and seeing “both” instead of “one-or-the-other” is a wisdom construct, as mentioned, of faith. It’s equally a choice of discretion and self-sacrifice to remain open, not protecting ourselves in our conservativeness a.k.a. fears.

“And” doesn’t work always, however, and it can be a trap—hence the rogue that busyness has become, in our age most certainly, but in all ages beforehand and in the future too. Self-discipline is required.

“AND” power, now, comes from having the pluck in certain situations to go with the torrent of flow and do what we should or could—for others’ eventual betterment and our own.

Poised Thinking

But the ‘AND power’ doesn’t simply apply to action. It applies equally to our thought constructs, especially our challengeable perceptions (which are often somewhat awry) and opinions.

How quickly do we fly off to some fanciful notion of what is right or wrong? Political and current affair views are the typical red herring. Why do we even need to form a view or take a side? I mean, do we have all (or even most) of the information? Generally, no, we don’t! So, why are we forming a view prematurely—are we ruled by truth or not?

“AND” power is then about holding sides of an argument in tension. Both are partially right. Both are partially wrong. Why pre-judge? That can only be a vast folly that should be beneath us.

Both (or more) realities are important. Both (or more) deserve our interest and consideration.

This “AND” power helps us keep the eyes and ears of our hearts and minds open. How important is the truth, and formerly, how important is being able to do all that is required of us at the appropriate times?

These are critical questions that “AND” power will certainly assist us with.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

BORN... to be ALIVE!

Remember phonogram records? The song by the abovementioned title was the very first 45 R.P.M., seven-inch “single” I ever bought. Despite all the scratches over its surface (I was only twelve in 1979) indicating the amount I played it, I’d never ever thought about its very powerfully delivered lyrics.

Patrick Hernandez’s hit of 1979 is actually videographically very poor, replete with horrendous lip-syncing and unimaginative choreography, but its humming disco groove and strident in-your-face message of truth and passion for a different life are astounding and those attributes alone carried it over the pop glacier of success. Lyrically it’s abundantly simple—almost superficial. But it’s not the song I’m so rapt about. It’s its simple message.

The song, I believe, is about the man or woman that thumbs their nose at the wide and common way of life—the person who “gets” life from the vein of the spiritual, not simply just the material. He or she is captivated by the stars and the power, wisdom and truth of energy, its flow and such forth.

They see life from a vivacious perspective. Open eyed, eared and hearted this person is simply... born to be alive. Every living moment, give or take, they focus on ‘the different perspective.’ They’re alive spiritually and they exist in several realms simultaneously—spiritually awake to the voices of perception and the heartbeat of life’s underbelly. As we view them, they hold open the gates of that existence to us also.

We’re born to be alive. It’s good to be alive.

That ‘alive-ness’ Hernandez sings about is deadened to us much of the time; in our work, our boredom, our hurried day-to-day lives. Yet it need not be.

Without the time taken out to truly live the ‘born to be alive’ philosophy we miss it’s time-held message for us. It’s not until death strikes close by that we realise we only have so much time, and that therefore it’s due us to live.

A thousand different spectres then take place—we’re swamped in choice. But then it’s really only a case of one thing: just start. A whole world has now opened up to us!

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

WHEN NUMBNESS STRIKES

We’ve all had times of acute numbness regarding certain dire circumstances of life—those we’ve “found” ourselves in. But, some have suffered more than others. Notwithstanding, we’ve all felt it.

What can or should we do when numbness strikes?

Answer: nothing.

Life’s taken its shot at us and we should simply just “be,” leaving any of the analysis to a later date—the last thing we need is self-imposed pressure. We allow the full strength of the issues confronting us to take their hit; the numbness is our protective emotive shell helping us adjust to the newest reality across our bow; that thing we’re interminably struggling with.

Your numbness is essential protection for an emotionally untenable state of being. Who knows why you’re truly numb? Do you?

I’ve certainly had hardly a clue when it’s occurred to me. Well, that’s not entirely true. Generally there are so many reasons for the numbness it does my mind. (My numbness has often occurred from workload or life overload.) Indeed, the depth of complexity of the issues and ironically be a big part of the problem.

But, let’s not criticise the numbness—for it is functional, not dysfunctional. Numbness turns our world upside down and confuses us and we panic within as if to say, ‘Eek, what is going on here? And to think like this is a trick. The numbness is a help.

Indeed, to illustrate there is a positive form of numbness that occurs when courage controls the vessel in the midst of a great performance. Yet, this is only a partial, well-directed, honed numbness. It’s like all the butterflies flying in formation; it’s a blistering, stirring reality when we turn nerves into the very fuel of great performance.

But we’re getting distracted!

It is better to experience numbness in our sorrow, distress or grief than in the previous state where we battled hard against what was happening, racked with fear. Numbness is safety. It is part of the journey in our grief; a part we can and should truly own.

(How strange that fleetingly after the numbness has left, we often have this lovely acceptance of the reality all over us—but for a time, until the next cycle of damaging grief takes its turn.)

When we’re numb we should not panic. Let it happen. The tears and processing of grief will return. If nothing else the numbness is a place we can simply “be”—if we’ve got the cognisance and composure. At this level it is important to have a default acceptance of most things in life—the character trait of truthful humility—that helps.

Most of all, for this time, let the issues of life roll over you—without a note of self-imposed pressure. You’re actually probably coping really well.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The TICKET of Difference

We try all our lives to establish the credibility to foist with ardour our own opinion—yet the world hardly listens. We get cross and foist our opinions even more, not getting the point; the world is hardly interested because we haven’t yet earned our stripes.

The ticket to difference—the right to make statements of fact none have known (in our generation) before—is necessarily about simply working small and expanding that circle of influence.

It’s of trust in doing well, little by little.

No one ever successful does so overnight. Susan Boyle’s success might’ve seemed this way, but that’s far from the reality of it. Indeed, she waited in line much longer than most with commensurate ability. She’s waited what seems like an eternity to use her ticket of difference—indeed a ticket of much (infinite) difference.

If we have goods or wares that are different, unique and solemnly founded, we too will rise to the top in our given lives; such a world we have that there are a trillion ways to do this—a zillion different destinations of success. Locales of bliss all of them. We’re all on the road.

If we look about us in reaching these ‘dizzy heights’ we’ll soon see we have a credibility that’s been hard-earned. With such a ticket of difference we tread very responsibly. It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get here. We’re not wasting this opportunity. We try even harder.

And the most important fact that everyone’s to try their darnedest to remember is this:

The ticket of difference—to succeed as only you can—must come from within you. It is a visceral motion; a godly activity; anointed for you, and you alone.

And everyone has this ticket of difference within them, barring none. The code of God is there and it refuses anything but a commanding case, which makes every person in the appointed crowd stand and look your way—at that prearranged time. At this time and in this place we can, and we shall, stand and speak with confidence and assurance. God is with us and nothing can stand against us in this.

What to do now? Find your unique ticket of difference. Work on it. Hone it... for God.

Then you will eventually succeed. Then you’ll have earned your right to speak so that the world (or your world) will listen.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Patience in Resolving Those Past Hurts

THIS IS A FOLLOW-UP TO THE PREVIOUS ARTICLE: Dealing with a Past That Hurts. It seemed to me that I might have missed a critical component in that first excursus—the role of patience.

In this offering I hope to motivate people who’re hurt to start—or even endure—the process toward forgiveness and healing, for it is no easy road. Indeed, it is probably the most difficult thing we may ever do.

What is no easy road is, however, a most necessary road.

The main deal in life is everyone wants peace and contentment—however they define that. But usually peace and contentment is inherently hinged to a healed soul. So, we can’t feel how we want to feel—if we don’t have peace and contentment—until we take that plunge into our pasts and wrangle with it, often making things worse before they get better. It is a ‘necessary road’ simply because any hurt time is wasted and unnecessarily painful time. We want you back on track the quicker the better.

Now, therein lays our problem! We as human beings want the quick fix—it’s normal to skirt any unnecessary pain.

What amazed me most about the grieving process—when I was recovering from a failed marriage—was the non-linear nature of grief. I would’ve thought beforehand that the K├╝bler-Ross grief cycle was a pretty simple one-phase-then-the-next-and-so-on issue; it didn’t work that way for me. And I don’t think grief or recovery from vast life hurts ever works as clinically as a model might suggest. We tend to repeat lessons time and again and true healing doesn’t occur until we’ve actually processed each bit. Patience is required. Recovery happens slower than any of us like.

Patience is the missing component. We’re missing out on the spiritual and emotional victories of peace and contentment we could have often because we’re not patient enough to wait for the best.

Patience, especially in the midst of heartache and pain, is the hardest thing. But, it’s entirely worth it. This, afterward, is one of the most inspirational things any human being can have done for themselves—it’s the journey to self and to God at the very same time! God cannot not be part of this.

The truth is, as we look forward for the faint-but-growing-clearer hope we hold out for—that day where life will be happy, and we trudge onward, in spite of our pain, we draw inspiration from ourselves. But it is God “beneath” us, actually inside us, that is making the spiritual and emotional strength available in order that we can do it.

To do the difficult things in life brings us strength and confidence and courage-to-go-again and therefore hope. As we smash past our own expectations and obliterate our own conservative goals we are lifted ever so gently out of our mire.

So, we need patience. This is the momentary patience of wisdom; the intermediary patience of stamina and perseverance; the long-term patient endurance of hope.

And we get there finally! It works always if we surrender to it.

You have a life to live. Don’t put off the hard stuff any longer. Make a wise plan and dig into it—one day you’ll be commending your very self for the wisdom to undertake what many, many shirk. And these who do ‘shirk the work’ will never have peace and contentment. Not of the lasting variety.

© 2010 S. J. Wickham.