Last night, I took care of a small child. She had begun to refuse to walk. When her mother tried to put her down, she would cry, wail, fold her legs in and collapse on the floor. While her small child mouth just cried, but her body language said “don’t abandon me, don’t stop loving me”. Her legs were fine. I have read recently that the mind and body are necessarily connected. the mind moves the body. It seems her mind body connection had ceased to allow for walking though her legs were strong. During her iv start she arched her body from the heels and kick the bed in fear and fury. Her legs worked fine, but her mind would not let her walk. It seems this family was in the middle of a move, the father had been away from home a lot and the child was made to stay at the grandparents much more often than usual. Whether her problem is behavior or medical, mental or physical, I don’t know. We all this have this problem sometimes but usually, like the child, we are picked up.
This is being human. Experiencing pain, discomfort, agony. For it is not the absence of suffering that reminds us that we are human but the presence of it. And pain whether physical emotional or spiritual is required for growth and understanding. And it need not be a dramatic anguish. Often the teaching pain comes as a silent uncomfortable unknowing, a boring demotivated paralysis of will and emotion and creative energy; helpless, tiny, foolish and thoroughly untalented and undeserving of love.
In many ways this type of pain and suffering is worse than a stab wound because we can pretend it is not there. We can fool ourselves to thinking we’ve begun to feel better when we haven’t touched the source of the pain.
And to touch the source is not an easy task. To find the root of these things often requires slow careful work with a chisel and a brush rather than fast and reckless action with a sledge hammer. The root source is where the teaching lies. There is the sunshine that will fuel our growth and bring us into the fullness of the human experience. But we mush first feel abandoned. We must first wail in loss.
So this is our work. Let us not be like the mother and child above. The child cried and wailed when her mother stopped holding her, refusing to stand on her feet, her mother picked her back up each time so the child will never fully understand the depth of her own darkness, and thus never comprehend the depth of her own soul. Let us all allow each other to experience the discomfort without moving to fix it. Sometimes we need friends and family to sit with us in the darkness rather than lifting us out each time. Sometimes love is just that, being with your companion while they cry and wail on the floor without moving to fix them. This is allowing each other to be human and grow.