Where it Hurts the Most

Will Smith at Video Store.PNG

Where It Might Hurt the Most, or What do Zombies Have to do With Agreement 5?

We all feel a certain amount of pain, seemingly all the time.  Agreement 5 (Heal the Real Wounds) says: “I am willing to be present to where it hurts & to develop solutions.”

In this, consider the possibility of a hierarchy of pain.

Earth Pain
At the bottom is what I call “Earth Pain.”  It just hurts to be here on earth. Neil Maxwell said “we are a timeless people caught temporarily in time…  Clearly, time is not our natural habitat.” With the curtains drawn on the infinite sense connection we perhaps once had, it’s easy to feel lonely!

Abused and Betrayed
On top of this, to one degree or another, we are born into a trans-generational wave of dysfunction, shame, anger and abuse.  For many, this karmic river of opportunity flows deep. Millions suffer each day with very painful life experiences. More or less, we all understand where it hurts when it comes to feeling abused, abandoned or betrayed by someone.

Self Betrayed
In a sense, there isn’t much we can do about “earth pain” or being abused and betrayed. Both of these just come with the territory. We are here on earth. We are born into dysfunction. We can and should feel the pain, give as much as we can to God and develop therapeutic possibilities for healing.   

The third dimension of pain is the most important because it is the dimension we have the most control of; self betrayal

There are obvious ways we betray ourselves- negative self talk, dishonesty, abusing others, abusing ourselves, acting out of integrity, the list goes on.  Perhaps the place it hurts the most, is the least obvious:

It hurts when we betray our basic nature to love and to serve.  

We are designed to touch others. We are designed to lift others, and when we don’t, it really hurts.  

Compounding an already gnawing sense of earth pain and abandonment, not serving creates to a life sentence of even worse loneliness and unhappiness.  

There is only one way to free ourselves from this kind of isolation.  The world around us, the people that God brings into our path, has to move from theory to reality.  Your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, everyone, must become a chance for you to serve and to touch someone else.  For as I reach out to touch your life, I am freed from prison.

In the movie, I Am Legend, Will Smith survived a zombie apocalypse.  He and his dog, for a while, seem to be the only one’s still left (at least in his area).  Every few days he goes to a video store. He has set up some manikins there to make it seem like there are other people. At one point, in tears, he pleads with one of the manikins, “Please say hello to me. Please.” But the manikin isn’t real, she cannot talk to him.  What is perhaps even more sad, is that she cannot hear him. If he were to reach out to her, she could not feel his touch. He cannot affect her for good.  He cannot touch, or heal or inspire her life, because she is not real.

This is so lonely for Will.  The world is spinning by without him. He is not part of anything because he cannot serve anyone.  Then, suddenly, another real human being appears. His spirits are lifted. They embark on a project together to find a zombie vaccine and ultimately Will gives his own life to save humanity.  

This is how much we need to serve- that if it means losing our own life, en route to completely and permanently touching someone else, it is a price we are willing to pay.

Where it hurts the most is where it is easiest to get things backwards.  As hard as we try to gain happiness, by what we can get, nothing else seems to work but service. We are, as the Jesus suggested, designed to lose our lives in service- to feel fully alive as we fully give, as we fully touch and invest in others. As we do, our world is transformed from an empty store, full of manikins to a world of warmth, connection and love.

In “Healing the Real Wound” (Agreement 5), service is the bulk of the medicine we are seeking.

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