Sacred Comfort

Care for the Soul

The Temporary Solace of Things*

They say if you really want to make God laugh, make a plan.

From thehippiecommune.tumblr.com via Pinterest

From thehippiecommune.tumblr.com via Pinterest

I believe that there’s something or someone watching over me, and whoever it is has my best interest in mind. I use the term “God” as a kind of shorthand for universal love and awesomeness. I don’t know who or what God is, but I’m fairly certain that we each have a little bit of God in us, and sometimes I actually remember that when I’m feeling afraid or sad or otherwise disconnected from people.

A lot of the time, I’m not aware of what’s best for me, and sometimes I’m just one big craving walking around, seeking solace in anything that can comfort me in the moment.  Solace can be found in food, sex, shopping, booze and drugs – anyone can add to the list, but you get the point.  Unfortunately, I’ve found that these things offer only temporary solace.  When the bottle is empty, I’m still left with myself and my desire to be free of whatever pain I’m experiencing at the moment.

When I’m in pain, I try really hard to get out of it. I don’t want to sit with it, I don’t want to learn from it, I just want to escape.  But experience has shown that in my darkest hour, I am given the greatest gift. The gift of desperation, which brings with it the desire to change, to try something new, to stop banging my head against the wall.  To listen really really hard, and maybe try something new.

And I think this is when I can hear God laughing.

I’m not being laughed at. It’s like a laugh of relief, of pleasure, of joy in witnessing my return to wholeness, if even for just one moment.  This is when sanity returns, and I can look back at whatever insane stuff I was doing in my search for solace and then I can laugh, too. Because it’s ridiculous, really, to think that all of my problems can be solved if only I could lose 10 lbs, or if I were younger, or in thinking that eating cake will bring me bliss.  I used to think my life was falling apart, but I was tearing it apart with my own two hands by being drunk and irresponsible and running on fear most of the time.

I’ve had major challenges in my life, but I’m still here to tell the tale. I’ll be telling it here, in this blog, bit by bit – and I hope you’ll step up to the mic and tell yours, too.

I don’t drink or drug anymore, and I try to eat in a healthy way and stay on a budget.  I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up but I’ve tried out a lot of different things.  Most recently I’m hoping to attend One Spirit Interfaith Seminary, which is so far from anything I’d ever think I’d be doing that it must be God talking to me. I do know this: I have friends who totally get me, and whom I love enormously, free of expectations.

Here are some more things I know: helping others is better than feeling sorry for myself. Everything changes. Nothing is permanent. Attachment is suffering. There is freedom in surrender. Let go and live.

Whatever else is true in this moment, you are loved. (Thanks to DPXer MHA for this one.)

Your turn: Where do you find solace?

* This post originally appeared in my (now-defunct) blog, “We Plan. God Laughs.”

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4 comments on “The Temporary Solace of Things*

  1. Pingback: God’s Laughter | Sacred Comfort

  2. dosa
    January 12, 2013

    So true…and so well expressed.

  3. Liz Scully
    March 7, 2013

    Great stuff, Sarah. And so very true.

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This entry was posted on January 3, 2013 by in Blogosphere Confessional, Thoughts on God and tagged .
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