Thursday, October 14, 2010


When I am in pain observing Jan being in pain, I question everything, from the very purpose of life to the links between what is happening to us and what we have done in our past. I raise questions about the God of the settled accounts. I size the limitations of my understanding of grace, and ask why has God abandoned us? Pain has a way to shake up the trust on my core beliefs. At the same time, pain has a way to clarify that which is essential from the unimportant. I find that trust is one of the essential blocks of relationship. I take a position to the world around me to be able to react and adapt. I must trust that what I perceive or what I know is the correct information to take a stand in life. But trust is not the only position I can take in life. I can also distrust, that is, question what I perceive or know. We are relational beings. We were designed to live life in relationship. Every addition we have made to the original design has been in response to this relational directive. It is written in our DNA to relate. Art, society, religion, knowledge of the world and of self are all results of relational thinking. It is by relating that I find who I am in the world. It is by relating that I understand the feelings and flavors of life. It is through relationships that I learn the basis of right from wrong, it is by relating that I can transform my world and impact the rest of the world. It is by relating that I also learn to trust with those objects and events that show up in my experience in a reliable manner. So, the first sign of trust is trust in what I perceive. Then, through relationship I learn other more subtle forms of trust and mistrust. The latter I call questioning and we have made it a pillar in what we call knowledge. The positivist view of science, proposes to question everything we perceive, to not take for granted what happens in the world, but to observe it in a detached manner and then systematically test this knowledge. The problem with this view is that there is no such as thing as a "detached view" of life. We are all in it up to our necks. With all the techniques of tranference and contratransference that analysts use, they are humans deep involved in life and somehow being impacted in unkown ways by their patients. I can't be detached from what is happening to Jan and see her in a detached way. If I want to relate to her in a trusting manner, I need to begin with this assumption that we are both muddy and immersed in each other realities more than what we know or imagine. Because we have somehow become one as a couple, I need to trust myself before I can trust her. This goes along with what Jesus asked from his disciples: love others as you love yourself. We are the first measure of love and trust. We I don't have self love or self trust I will have trouble trusting Jan and those around me. I have observed a lot of pain in the past five years. I have experienced a lot of pain too, I have learned to adapt and assimilate mny own pain. As a matter of fact, I have learned that pain is an integral part of life. And it is this acceptance that has moved me ahead in the path of maturity (this is what S. Peck says in the Road Less Travelled). so I don't spend anylonger all this energy and resources in trying to kill pain with all sorts of pain killers (chemical, financial, etc), instead, I am learning to understand the pain, where it came from, whether it will go away or not, and how am I going to continue living my life with or without this pain. I have trusted a lot these past five years. And I have lost my trust many times as well. I have been happy and thankful with God, Jan, friends and I have been utterly dissapointed with all fo them sometimes. But all in all, I seem to come back to to this default position of trusting. I want ot believe that there was a tranformation in my deepest self that occurred at somepoint in time and a seed of trust was planted then. Storms, and drought have cut off the plant of trust many times, but the roots remain. Today, Jan is agonizing with pain. I can't even imagine whas she feels. So, I choose to trust and sit quietly next to her hoping that somehow, the warmth of love will soothe her pain.