Good grief and holy crap...

Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains.
Proverbs 14:13

The past year has been one full of a lot of heartache for Shawna and I. Even now, things enter our lives that remind us of the condition of our broken hearts. It happens regularly. But, we've never been closer; we've never been more in love. I am eternally grateful for this and know that it is a gift because I see how uncommon it is.

The frailty of life continues to become increasingly apparent, but then, so does the equally increasing value of Love. There is such sorrow in life, but that makes the significance of Love much more apparent and clear. I see people in horrific conditions experience greater joy than I have known because their need/capacity/receptivity to Love is greater than mine, which can be overcrowded by comfort and complacency.

When things hurt, I have a choice to make: defend or accept. I want to accept; to consistently and consciously return to the reason why it hurts: Love and tenderness.

People's capacity to hurt me usually has to do with how much they mean to me. If I don't care about someone, then I usually care very little about what they do to or say about me. But it's when I do care that I become sensitive to their words and actions. Recognizing this, removes their words or actions from the center of my woundedness and attention, so that my love, care, and tenderness can take their rightful place there. Defense mechanisms and pessimism mistakenly cover those wonderful things up.

When I don't remember this, I digress to relying on those defense mechanisms and pessimism to keep me safe, which ultimately makes me numb and cold. When I do remember this, I'm comforted by the knowledge that underneath the pain lies Love and tenderness. There is nothing greater. It gives me eyes to see the goodness in grief and the holiness in crap.