My Lord, you have heard the cry of my heart, because it was You Who cried out within my heart. – Thomas Merton
“It is plain that a life which includes deep resentment leads only to futility and unhappiness. To the precise extent that we permit these, do we squander the hours that might have been worth while. But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harboring such feelings we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die. If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison.” – Wilson, Bill. Alcoholics Anonymous
Recently I have noticed that I have been putting my holy books aside and entertaining myself with the trivial. I have kept my music with me, but I have not listened to the sublime, but only the heartfelt. I have seldom taken time for the silence of union, despite the fact that all my joy and health are in THIS.
In other words, I have been letting myself go increasingly unconscious. I have marveled that I am feeling “okay,” and have not been willing to notice the pain that becomes physical as the deep emotional body is ignored.
In other words, I have been “okay.”
Addiction has been a major theme of my life. Bill says it above: “to drink is to die.” May I just say, here, that drinking is not the issue in my life, but it doesn’t matter, for it might as well be: I am an addict, and this mechanism of shutting oneself off from one’s true being by the use of whatever substance–or emotion–or behavior–whatever–is to die of a longing that can never be fulfilled. I wonder if I am addicted to resentment. I have been feeling a lot of resentment recently: “they done me wrong!” “Oh, it really doesn’t matter.” But it does.
I have been pushing this resentment aside, because I am too “mature,” too “wise” to need to pay attention to the way I am letting toxic emotion eat away at the edges of my life. Me? Surely not: I am past that kind of thing.
And so I again flop about on the shores of the abode of my God, gasping like a dying fish, too proud to make my way back into that Ocean and Live.
THIS WILL NOT DO. Why should I die? It is certainly not time.
God weeps from these depths, sobbing in sorrow for this one who chooses starvation over feasting.
Piously we produce our images of you
till they stand around you like a thousand walls.
And when our hearts would simply open,
our fervent hands hide you.
Barrows, Anita. Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God.
In blind determination, I make my way back down the shoreline and into the waves. I will not let him do this to me.