Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Obstacles to Overcome : Can we survive the pain?


            I once read in a book that life experiences can be compared to tea: the sweeter it is the more delicious it is, but the more bitter it is the more healthy it is. Easy is not always good for us, and difficult and painful is not necessarily bad. It is marvelous when someone challenges our point of view and points out what is wrong in us. It might be something that we had not found out about ourselves before, and maybe something we wouldn’t have ever found out unless someone told us. We need to try to ignore the tone of voice the person used and not be frightened by the facial expression. We need to look beyond, seeking the lesson life has for us, seeing the opportunity to improve ourselves in every situation.

            The more someone disagrees with us, points out our faults and touches our wounds, the better it is for us! But accepting that is easier said than done. We are also called to love our enemy but it is not an easy thing to do. Loving our enemy is indeed difficult, no matter how the enemy presents itself. It could be a situation, a person or sometimes even our own selves. Dealing with the pain that other people inflict on us is a big challenge. Hypocrisy, betrayal, intrigue and humiliation are not easy things to deal with.

            So, why do people hurt us anyway? Oftentimes, people just have a lot of darkness inside but do not want to face it. They may have a lot of sin in their lives, and this makes them bitter and blind. To face their ugliness hurts their ego, so they live in denial. They find faults in everyone but themselves, they live in conflict with others, and then in their own eyes they don’t look so bad. They justify their actions to themselves and find reasons to fight with others. In this way, they convince their consciences that they are the real victims and are not at fault. They would rather be angry and look at others with disdain than face the fact that they have a defect that they need to change.

            When somebody hurts us, we must make sure we do not hate the person but that we hate the action. It is as if someone has muddy clothes we do not hate the person, but we hate the mud on the clothes. Then, if the person changes clothes (changes his or her attitude or bad behavior) and puts on clean, white clothes, the problem is solved. We need to make an effort to love the person even though we might hate the person’s actions.

             We can pray for the people who have hurt us, so that they may change. Maybe those who have hurt us don’t have a relationship with God. Perhaps they are in the dark, not even aware of their behavior and feeling righteous when they are not. We need to try to have compassion on them because, as Mother Teresa used to say, “You do not know what it feels like to be them!” Then we can pray, “Lord Jesus, bring them to Yourself, change them, save them.”

           It truly makes sense to love our enemy, even though it is hard. Why? Because the more I am challenged to exercise my beliefs, the more I am strengthened in my virtues. How can we ever be sure we are truly kind or patient unless someone challenges our patience? To be more forgiving, we need a situation that calls on us to forgive. To be more humble, we need to welcome situations that will help us to get rid of our pride. What I am trying to say is that in everything God works for our good if we let Him. How do we let Him? By remembering that every situation is an opportunity for me to become a better me!

Wisdom to contemplate:

“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

“We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

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