Friday, April 25, 2014

Coming Back From The Brink Of Disaster

There is nothing that you can't come back from, as unbelievable as that may sound.
If you're like me, you've spent a fair amount of time seemingly on the brink of disaster, walking the proverbial plank. What I need - and perhaps it would help you too - is to employ a simple "Yes." A simple "Yes" can be the starting point of pulling ourselves back from the brink, out of the mud of tragedy, depression, anxiety, loneliness, and so many other ghosts we are haunted by.
Saying "Yes" does not mean that all the clouds will miraculously and instantly disappear, that we'll win the lottery or that sickness will go away. These are more often the things of late-night televangelist hucksters, who promise health, wealth, and happiness, if only we use "this product" or say "these magic words." When we try things such as these and then fail to see results, we can feel like even more of a failure, a disappointment, even a waste of space. Back to the plank we go, perhaps even taking an extra step closer toward the frigid waters below.
Trying, as hard as it may be to do so, to say "Yes" from a tiny place of inner hope, or even trusting the "Yes" of a friend who truly knows you, may seem meaningless at the time. But if we cry out this simple word, we are in a small but key way opening our minds and hearts to the possibility that this ugly time in our life can, in time, pass. A difficult divorce, lack of employment, physical, emotional, or psychological illness, or a host of other things that we feel pummeled by, sometimes on a daily basis.
Saying "Yes" is not waving a magic wand; it is not thinking happiness into being. Saying "Yes," most importantly, is a cry in our darkest hour; in whispering it we affirm, sometimes with our weakest voice, that we are more than all the dirt and grime around us. As we make this kind of opening a practice, we will eventually find that we are stronger than we ourselves had expected. Rocking helplessly in the corner turns into a slow crawl, a crawl turns into wobbling upright, and one day, perhaps when we least expect it, we will find ourselves walking tall.
Mark Andrew Nouwen