I feel it almost every day in my dealings with people who are suffering and who yearn to be relieved of their pain immediately, all at once, in a jiffy. They explain their situation in a minimal way and expect me to automatically give them a magic recipe.
Although they do not admit it clearly, they take it for granted that there is always a shortcut, a magic wand, a miraculous talisman, which will instantly remedy their personal problems or those of their loved ones.
And, of course, since that is impossible, they are burdened with another new problem: the painful dilemma of believing that they are not doing all they should, that they are the only ones to blame for their suffering because they are negligent and irresponsible.
As a result, their feelings of self-loathing, self-disgust and envy towards others, dissatisfaction, guilt, doubts… in short, their fever to improve themselves quickly only exacerbates their own pain exponentially.
What can we say to these people, who are really good, sincere, honest, but at the same time filled with feelings of unworthiness, loneliness, defeatism, disillusionment and sadness? Can we help them in any way? Here are some guidelines, exclusively religious:
– Start by doing something; just something, never everything, never all at once… Something like praying to the Lord… talking to a person you trust… reading a book carefully… something that will make you feel good in that area, make you have faith in yourself and love yourself as you are. And don’t rush, because compulsive rushing only aggravates the problem.
– Accept yourself as you are. As you have been in the past… with your clumsiness, self-deceptions, naivety… And accept your present as well. This is how you are loved by God. And you are called to make your life a life “according to God”, in the peace that comes from healthy conformity.
– Believe that you are never alone, even if it seems so. Many people who love you, without telling you, accompany you. And God accompanies you, who, within you, sustains your dignity and gives you strength.
These simple suggestions are the essence of authentic patience, far removed from resignation. Patience is the most heroic of virtues, precisely because it lacks any semblance of heroism.
Juan Carlos cmf
(PHOTO: Immo Wegmann)