“A life not lived for others is not a life.” Mother Teresa
Elijah and the Rabbi (post 34) teaches us to see the unforeseen treasure in the vicissitudes of life. So I look back at the trajectories my illness might have taken. I narrowly avoided hospitalization. I gained compassion. Also I avoided becoming a Total Certified Asshole, to which I have been close.
Just because a person is a survivor of abuse doesn’t qualify them for automatic sainthood. Many of us, without help or insight, can become mean. Dog-kickers. We pass on what was done to us. As they say, “Hurt people hurt people.” But for the grace of God, I could have ended up taking my life like my brother. Or I could have become a drunk or drugged myself silly, which a number of my brothers have tried to do at various times of their lives, to no good effect. I took the passive-aggressive route because as the youngest, it helped me get away with more. Give them the silent treatment. Make them squirm. That will make them come running and begging for your forgiveness. Especially if you cry. Today however with an analyst husband my ability to get away with passive-aggressive tactics has diminished dramatically. So we have to talk and explore what disagreement symbolizes all the time. At times it is very annoying, really.
So being a Survivor is good; being an overcomer is better. So God made me wait, work through adversity and has been trying to instill in me patience, which I keep forgetting. This is part of the problem of being an amnesiac. We can always find things about our lives that suck. That’s easy. It takes a real gift of insight to learn to see the deeper tragedy you avoided. It also takes a real gift to see where blessings come in disguise. So that’s the approach I take these days. I expect a blessing. I no longer pre-select what it should look like. I let life surprise me and love always finds a way. I've discovered life has never let me down, even in the most painful moments, provided I stay humble and acknowledge I don't have the answers.
This is where I hear Sister Gussie’s voice, the blast from the past spiritual guru, chiming in, “You know you are healed when you can look back and see everything as a blessing.”
Yeah, I think she probably was in on that story of Elijah and the Rabbi (post 34). That means we do not get to have neat, easy answers.