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Musings: The Discomfort of Personal Growth

I actually started writing the following three paragraphs in the middle of the last posting that I wrote.  However, I quickly realized that they did not belong there so, rather than delete them, I saved them as a draft.  I figured that if the words had manifest themselves on the page they were important to come back to.  Here are the three paragraphs as I wrote them.

As I have been sitting here, stopping from time time to just breath in deeply, I have been checking the news on my info page.  I guess the biggest item that has rocked the world in different ways is still the news coming out of Haiti.  I have followed this story, as I’m sure many millions of other people have, and have come to realize how difficult it is to take in the reality of such a situation.

No matter how many photos they print, and there have been hundreds, even though they depict the grim reality of the circumstances it is hard to make it a reality in my own life.  Story after story carries an underlying sadness, pain, and desperation.  It is heartbreaking to think of the level of suffering and helplessness that overwhelms the surviving Haitian population in the aftermath of the earthquake.

Yet even as I understand the meaning behind the words in these stories, and even as I can see clearly what is depicted in all the photos, there is a part of me that is unable to truly comprehend the magnitude of this tragedy.  I went through something similar after the tsunami out in Thailand and Indonesia at Christmas a couple of years ago.

So now I will try to pick up the thread of my thought process a week after writing this.  As I said, at the time I was sitting outside in my lanai on the first really warm day after much freezing cold weather had not allowed me to take my lap-top outside and work.  I have just reread the three paragraphs and remember now sitting out there in the warmth and sunshine, catching up on world-wide news and feeling so strangely detached from the horrors taking place in Haiti.

I am not sure why this is so.  I try to practice compassion in a very real way on a daily basis.  I am a Christian person who “loves his neighbor”.  I am also an intelligent person, so it’s not that I don’t have the brains or the smarts to grasp what is going on over there in Haiti.  Neither am I afflicted by learning disabilities that slow my thought processes or skew them somehow.

I have read on numerous occasions that we, the human race, have been so saturated with violence in today’s world that events such as those taking place in Haiti don’t reach down into our hearts, our guts, or they only get halfway there.  Modern media thinks nothing of throwing blood, gore, and downright evil at us in the name of “action movies” and the like, and as a result we become inured to the real life stuff. 

As I said above, I see the pictures, I read the stories, the facts, but I have a hard time bringing it all into my own perception of reality. I’m not sure where I want to go with all this, or if I need to go anywhere in particular.  Of one thing I am sure,  the words presented themselves on the page out of my mind so they must have some specific significance.

I know that I do not feel very happy or comfortable about this posting.  It has come out in fits and starts, between one interruption and another.  Half way through I found myself thinking, “maybe I should just delete it and start a totally new posting”.  But there is a part of me that knows the words need to stay on the page.

Perhaps the discomfort that I am feeling is because this article makes me look at a part of me that is not so nice.  That part that wants  me to just stay in my comfort zone and get on with my ordinary life.  After all, don’t I deal with enough of my own pain without taking on the pain of others?  But I know that I cannot do that.  If I do, I will experience even more discomfort.

So the words stay, the article stands as is, and I battle on through the stuff that maybe I would prefer to ignore.  I ask God to help me find the growth that this is leading me to.  Hopefully there will be a quantum leap in my spiritual growth, in my prayer practice.  Maybe a little more honesty, another small slice of humility, and just a smidgen more courage to keep me on track.  

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