A Creed to Live By
Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others.
It is because we are different that each of us are special.
Don’t take fore granted the things closest to your heart.
Cling to them as you would your life.
Don’t let life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future,
by living your life one day at a time you will live all the days of your life.
Don’t give up when you still have something to give.
Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.
Don’t be afraid to encounter risks.
It is by taking chances that we learn to be brave.
Don’t dismiss your dreams: to be without a dream is to be without hope;
To be without hope is to be without a purpose.
Don’t run through life so fast that you forget where you have been
but also where you’re going.
Life is not a race, but a journey to be savoured each step of the way.
In the 6 months that I have been reading widely and talking with many different people, one fact has become apparent: sometimes no matter how many friends you have around you, how loving a family you have, even someone who loves you like no other, even your own strong faith in God, but sometimes even with all that you can still feel alone.
It is very confusing. I don’t understand how this can be, and yet it is. I have never been so alone in all my life. Try as I might, I have had real trouble shaking this. I have prayed hard. Many friends and family are praying hard for me. I keep myself around people as much as possible. And yet, these feelings persist.
My life is floating. I am unable to live life as I did before, and confusion has set it. The path ahead seems very isolated and alone.
Those who are not afflicted by this kind of loneliness are blessed. But they can never understand truly what it is. Until I arrived at this point, I too was blissfully ignorant of how it felt, or what it meant.
Many lack any sort of compassion, resorting to trite responses, blaming the individual for their loneliness as if that individual made a purposeful decision to be/feel lonely.
When I say that some people lack compassion, I do not say that they do this on purpose either. Compassion is learnt. Those who have the “perfect happy” life, and live in complete comfort all their lives will never understand the suffering of another. Compassion is learned through experience.
Perhaps thats why Christ understands us so well. He became one of us. He experienced loneliness, isolation, temptation, deep sorrow, fear, doubt, scorn, anger, pain, despair. A whole gamut of emotions. And he lived amongst all types in the society of his time.
What to take out of this little sermon? I write this stuff, but I still don’t understand it. I know very little.
All I can do, is to continue to have faith…
The front of our parish bulletin carries always carries some inspirational message, and it never fails to touch the hurting soul.
Count your Blessings
Count your blessings
instead of your crosses,
Count your gains
instead of your losses.
Count your joys
instead of your woes;
Count your friends
instead of your foes.
Count your smiles
instead of your tears;
Count your courage
instead of your fears.
Count your full years
instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds
instead of your mean.
Count your health
instead of your wealth;
Count on God
instead of yourself.
After a few bad weeks, I guess this helps focus my mind on the good, rather than the bad.
It takes a long time for wounds to heal, especially when the cut is 5 years deep. And it doesn’t take a lot to reopen them either. Luckily, if you are surrounded by caring people, they are able to help you through. A a little professional assistance can help too, especially when that outside help is emotionally removed from the whole situation.
In all my years, I have always been afraid to seek outside help for my problems, but on this occasion, I have had to accept it lest I was to remain in a debilitated state.
I am still not convinced, but I will admit I have been feeling better for it.
WYD occurred last week, unfortunately I missed much of it. My family was quite involved, being volunteers over the city. And many friends were hosts to pilgrims. Good reports all around.
There were a number of SSA support events too, two of which I knew about. One official, one unofficial. I attended neither of them, although a part of me thinks I missed out on a chance. Spiritually, I still have a lot of growing to do.
I was disappointed by a certain lack of compassion on the part of the Church in the way they handled the abuse victims. Cardinal Pell seemed extremely cold, and his whole demeanor in the staged press conferences was one of utter inconvenience, irritation and disinterest in the plight of those genuinely wronged. And after the secretive event held with four unnamed abused victims, he took on a tone of vindication, and practically washed his hands saying all had been put right! I think there is a long way for the Church to come in reconciling these matters.
And the answer, might I add, is not a witch-hunt to find SSA priests. I’m sure a great many SSA priests live out their spiritual lives in complete communion with God, and do not seek sinful passions in the way a small minority have done.
Over the last few weeks, I have befriended a Religious Order Priest (as opposed to a Diocesan Priest) out there in the world. Gives me hope that there is compassion for us out there. And for the last few months, I have another good SSA friend out there in the world, part of a lay religious order who has offered untold friendship, support and spiritual advice.
I am not anti Church, I am seeking better understanding and compassion from those out there who do not know what it is like to walk in these shoes.
For a short time I participated in the Courage On Line (COL) yahoo group. Unfortunately, I have come to the conclusion it’s not for me, and I don’t think I would be prepared to attend a local chapter if one started in Sydney. It probably does helps some people, but I find the constant reminder that we are broken, fallen people very unhelpful. That is not to say that I’m perfect, or that we start telling lies to suit ourselves, but I feel that people in my situation are emotionally fragile, and need some better support other than the trite, throw-away cliches that are consistently used.
To those on my prayer circle page, I continue to keep you in my prayers. Thank you for your prayers too.
Until my next post…