Thoughts on misery
Can we live a life without misery?
We, humans, were born for misery, were born for hardship, were born to strive towards relieving a life without misery, but the paradox is, we will always live in misery, in some form, whether that be financial, physical, spiritual, employment or loss. It is living a life that strives towards not having misery, a life without misery is not a life at all. If we don't have misery, would we ever know what joy is? We were born for hardship, we have the therapy to resolve an issue, for it to be overtaken, by yet another issue. Can we ever be happy? Is true happiness on the margins of boredom, to be bored is to be happy?
Leads us to the question, what is happiness? Let's stick with misery.
And yet, our purpose, our liberal Christian purpose is to alleviate the misery, difficulties and hardships that our fellow human being is consumed with, we are there to offer our hand in charity, our heart in love and our being in kindness. We may have our own misery in our being, but offering to alleviate others, this gives us joy. We allow others to see the beauty of the human spirit, and the human spirit that is fulfilled by elevating others brings us joy.
When anxiety was great within me,
Your consolation brought joy to my soul.
This is our calling for each other, peace resides, not in ourselves, but in each other. We are connected so intrinsically and intricately, that we forget we are a community in a relationship. If there is a belief in peace through isolation, does this not bring further unhappiness? Loneliness is good to a point, but we get lost with our own turmoil of the mind. Is there a desire to find a pack of like-minded folk?
But no matter how we remove misery from our and other lives. Do we tackle the real issue behind the misery, that being the difficulty of the mind that causes said misery? When we are hemmed in, cornered by life's encounters, we either persevere through it, no matter how long it takes or we become overcome and fall into the circumstances that we allow. Oliver Cromwell wrote before the Battle of Dunbar, his army had superior forces upon him - "We are upon an engagement very difficult". Can this be humanities motto to live?
Humanity has been striving through difficulties, through misery, through the fog of confusion and loss, we navigate to safer and secure ground and we, for a time, take joy in the triumphs through the adversities that will inevitably encounter. A retired Unitarian Minister once said, "Through adversity, we potentially become better people, through prosperity, we potentially become monsters".
Let us not dwell on the sadness of life, let us not linger;
A miserable heart means a miserable life;
a cheerful heart fills the day with song.
Have we forgotten, the Christian message is not the appearance of the altruistic world, it is not the world where democracy is run perfectly, where everyone's bank balance is always in credit, that everyone has their own home without a mortgage, where everyone lives with all the needs and desires at the footfall. What breed of humanity will we have? If difficulties enter their lives, how would they behave?
Misery will fall upon us, we will encounter it daily. But we are beautiful children of the universe, of God, the divine and of Mother Earth. Hear the song of joy in your heart and sing! The world is surrounded by beauty, do not get yourself lost in the encounters, strive forward with all your being...
“Have mercy on me, my Soul.
You have shown me Beauty,
But then concealed her.
You and Beauty live in the light;
Ignorance and I are bound together in the dark.
Will e'er the light invade darkness?
I embrace you Misery!
I await you with the freshness of my being.
I will overcome your blows.
I will turn away your hurtfulness.
I will smile at your suddenness.
I will transform you into joy.
I have lived with you all my life.
~ Rev. Phil Waldron