.....but not much fun. However, they are a perfectly acceptable way to grow spiritually!
Although there have been times that I have soared with inspiration and overcome challenges, many times I have struggled with my own human will and God's will, until I could let the human element go and feel at peace with God's plan. And I have felt the benefits of this struggle. MBEddy writes: "The struggle for Truth makes one strong instead of weak, resting instead of wearying one."
But often, on the heels of wrestling with something, I have felt a sense of shame or guilt. I'd like to delve into this a little deeper, so I can blast it.
Shame would come in and try to say, Well, you must not be a very good person if you are sick. Or Why do you have to call a Christian Science practitioner AGAIN? You must really be bad off.
Guilt comes in and tries to lay on us that we haven't studied enough, prayed enough, been a good person enough, and as a result, (of course) we are sick.
I have gotten better and better at recognizing this double whammy of shame and guilt. When I take steps to deal with a conflict and find myself struggling with it, I am reminded that it takes courage to face up to conflict, that this is how healings begin. It is a point of strength to deal with a perceived weakness. I am not ashamed if I have to pull back from my regular duties to take care of myself. This is a part of loving my neighbor as myself! To try to go to great lengths to hide a struggle can sometimes encourage dishonesty with oneself and others, so dealing with it honestly and if needed, openly, gains spiritual power.
Guilt is about lack - and the thought that lack can actually cause something. It is a little silly to think that because I didn't clock in enough hours to pray and study, that that would hinder eternal Mind/omnipotent Love from doing its work. It takes a moment to commune with God. MBEddy says plainly: "Become conscious for a single moment that Life and intelligence are purely spiritual, — neither in nor of matter, — and the body will then utter no complaints. "
When we are struggling or we see others struggling, we can feel and give compassionate, warm and comforting support to one another -- a healing comfort that points upward and leads toward healing.
To close, I'd like to give a few examples of the blessings that come from honest struggles:
- Jesus (read on from this starting point)
- Jacob (read on from this starting point)
- Mary Baker Eddy
- a student of Christian Science
Picture by Paul (Eugène-Henri-) Gauguin,
Vision After the Sermon, Jacob Wrestling with the Angel
To share your thoughts on this or to explore this idea further, please feel free to be in contact with me, add your own comments below, email this article to a friend, or add to the healing finds and sites on the web to the right.