The wound, the gift, the light. Part one.

Rumi said “The wound is where the light enters”. I’ve heard it also said the wound is where the light comes from.

Perhaps this has something to do with why we want to share our pain. Why are our life stories feel important, and has something to do with what we are actually doing when we open-up about the people, places and things that have shaped us. Could it be that these wounds, these secrets, these moment of shame, brokenness and disappointment become our precious pearls, our gifts to those around us? What if they are pointing to the deep and meaningful connections, I believe, we all crave? What if I’m not the only one who carries the painful lessons only mistakes can teach. Moments when I hurt or / and was hurt by someone. What if I’m not the only one who says “I wish that would have been different, I wish I had handled it better. I wish I’d listened to that small voice in my gut”. What if these internal dialogues are keys to healthy, meaningful relationships.

Everyone says have no regrets, but the fact is we regret things. To feel and extend grace toward my past is a discipline. Maybe there is something healing and empowering in hearing someone else’s story. There is comfort in knowing we are all in the choppy waters of life together. All, looking for a bedrock of love and acceptance to place our feet on. We’re all a bit scared, and hesitant to open-up and create a safe place for others to do the same. We’ve all done “it” wrong at one point or another. Most of us simply know what didn’t work and carry a dream, a deep sense, of what we want. We close our eyes and feel the warmth of safe, inclusive community. We see it the same way we see clouds passing in the sky. Majestic, soul reviving and all together out of reach. There’s an old Cold Play song about a love so sure, so steady, so strong it breaks the chain reaction of broken people breaking people. Of isolation isolating others. It’s about a kind of warm and inviting love that thaws the ice-cold sense of anxiety, drawing us out of hiding and into the light. A kind of love that creates space for us to breathe again. It’s a warm embrace that whispers to the deepest parts of us “you are not alone”.

It’s hard to know and see the light that has entered through our wounds when we are feeling crushed under the weight of pain. It’s hard to navigate love when we’ve only associated it with romance, or sex, or that of broken families and emotionally dependent friendships. It’s hard to spot it and be open to it when the only kinds of love we have experienced have ended in pain and left us more broken then they found us. It kind of screws us over. It makes us weary of goodness. It complicates kindness.

At some point, someone must step out into the cold. Someone must put their feet on solid ground and say I love you, all of you with an everlasting love. This is what I’m drawn to about the message of Christ. He came to stand in this gap, a place where our pure human strength is unable to go. He started a chain reaction of healing by showing us how to listen to the still small voice inside, the one saying over and over “you are loved, you are welcomed just as you are, you belong”. It’s a message that anchors the human soul and shines a light inviting others to do the same. Yes, our wounds are where the light enters us. And our wounds are also the deep well we pull from to offer grace and empathy. In a very real way when you step into the light, when you share your story, you are shining a light for others. The fact is we’re all trying to figure it out, but we do not have to go at it alone.