Certain “counsel” often arrives as an epithet. No rank but personally little help…and signs of, to be kind, imperceptions. Even worse, flat-out denial of reality. Like these:
“You are okay.” “It will be okay.” “You’ll make sure the future of goodness trumps the past of pain and agony.” “How are you?” “I know how you feel.”
Each of these appears socially correct. And yet. I know folk who are experiencing at least a month of Good Friday’s. I know people whose current Sitz im Leben [current situation] screams for some relief, some resolution. I know people “who cannot take it anymore.” And for them?
What is not needed is judgment. What is not needed is advice. What is needed is understanding and patience. A friend once advised, “Mark, you are not ok and I’m not ok, but that’s ok.” After the shock of denying okay-ness I was able to realize that perfection is the worst goal in the world, especially if you need to cope with a world that loves floods, war deaths and lost jobs.
My wife, Diane, found an article on Huffington Post, that says it far better than I. It is linked now. But, a warning. If you don’t have time, delete this blog. If you don’t have time to consider, perhaps even deeper, the snags and unworkability of circumstance, delete this blog. This is not a 2-minute therapy sketch. It is the voice of a woman whose husband died, in lifespan-terms prematurely, on the way to the hospital. It is the voice of a woman, steeped in the great values of Judaism, who has been attentive to her spiritual journey for 30 days. And then, the voice of a woman who is now able to live more fully [but maybe not as successfully as before] the 31st day and those that follow.