I love Richard Rohr’s Daily Meditations. His latest topic is on poetry and the language of metaphor. This sentence especially popped out at me:
When religion becomes mere philosophy, accurate definitions, moralisms about others, rituals and dogmas in the head–that is the beginning of the end of religion as actual transformation. Now no one knows what to do with their pain except project it onto other people.
Being into my 5th decade, I have seen the truth of this statement unfold as I’ve watched the young become middle-aged and the middle-aged grow into seniors.
Those clinging to their absolutes become more angry and inflexible. They know on an intuitive level that it’s just not working and they’re pissed. They’ve played by the rules and they’ve been served a shit sandwich.
But here’s the rub – that anger is so repressed due their Puritanical virtues (read: ego) which value appearance and protocol above transformation and mercy.
The cruelty of our culture always demanding more, more, more – and by golly, you’d better look good while you’re doing it. It’s a disaster.
Rohr says the pain gets projected onto others. Oh, yes indeedy! I would also add that the anger that’s repressed ends up being expressed in chronic pain and other chronic health conditions.
Our minds are not separate from our bodies. If there is emotional anguish – it will get physical if it’s not dealt with.
Please note, I’m not talking about tissue breakdown and structural issues! Nor am I’m placing blame on you for your health issues. What I am saying is this –
If you’re dealing with chronic health issues, slow down and try to listen to the lesson your body is trying to teach you. (Please note this is different from “battling” your health issues.)
It takes great bravery to take this route but the peace – and improved health- it brings is far worth the cost.