In my horrible circumstances it may seem natural that I would seek only to have my needs met and that I would focus only on my own problems. But even in the aftermath of my unspeakable loss, I think that it would be unhealthy and wrong to do this. We are all supposed to love others...always. We, created in God's image, are meant to love. It is what we were made to do. It reflects Him more than anything else. And it is so, so good for us. The irony of giving away love generously is that we actually receive in the giving. It is such a wonderful and true dynamic. This is not to say that I should neglect my own needs. I need healing. I need to deal with my pain and suffering. But if I live only for myself and my own healing then I am missing out on the work and partnership with Jesus that he has for me. In fact, I believe that becoming self-absorbed is the absolute wrong path and that it will only lead me to depression and other forms of mental illness. The path of healing must involve active love for others.
I am so grateful that I have Lucas in my life. For he is a constant reminder to me that I am not to live only for myself. I receive so much in loving Lucas. And there is more to receive if I choose to love others. Opening my heart and creating space so I can love is hard, but it is the right path. My heart has grown out of this darkness that I am in. My capacity to love, to be honest, to hope for, to share, and to lead has grown.
"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled, as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying, that we are born to eternal life. Amen."
A prayer of St. Francis of Assisi