Chapter 22 » 22.50

Marriage and steadfast commitment

Facing change and difficulty

Some situations which cause pain or suffering are avoidable, so part of our learning must be to analyse the situation and see if this is such a case. If it is, we must try to prevent it happening again. But perhaps the most painful situations are those that are apparently beyond our control. Another part of our learning is to recognise that there is unfairness, uncertainty, fear, loneliness and hurt in this world; learning to accept that this is the nature of the world can, of itself, be painful.

Initially we may be able to do little, bound up in an acute, self-centred pain. As we try to cope with the anger, the pain and grief that come through some unhappy experience, we can learn a lot about the less-well-articulated, darker sides of our personality. These darker aspects should not be ignored. Although we tend to equate evil with darkness, we should remember that in the plant world roots grow in the dark. Darkness (and shadows) are as much a part of the natural order as light.

S Jocelyn Burnell, 1989

See also 10.23

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