The Thorns of Life

At one point during his life St. Benedict was tempted with the vision of a very beautiful girl he had seen in the market place. (Ah, yet one more reason not to go to Wal-Mart.) In answer to this temptation he threw himself into a briar patch and wallowed in the thorns until it passed. It is said that he was never again tempted in such a way. I can easily see how, given the psychology of the thing, this act would replace in a person’s mind the connection of pleasure to a certain thing with one of pain and revulsion. Years ago I rode a motorcycle. Once. A friend had bought a used dirt bike and asked me if I’d like to give it a try. I figured sure, why not? It’s like a bicycle. And so it was. Up to a point. I rode slowly around his yard. Then I got ready to stop. Heres the difference between a motorbike and a bike … On a bike the brakes are on the handlebar grips. On a motorcycle that’s where the gas is. So, like a bike, I hit the brakes. Of course that gave it gas and I went flying into a briar patch on the edge of the yard. I got to wallow in the thorns. Much to the amusement of my friend. What ever else I’m called to I’m pretty sure wallowing amongst thorns ain’t it. Years ago I was laying in bed, trying to go to sleep, building great grand horrible what-ifs in my head. Wallowing in self-created briars. And I stopped. And I thought, “You do this out of habit. There is nothing wrong right now but you’re building wrong stuff in your head because you’re so used to turmoil that you don’t know how to experience peace. You’re addicted to the adrenalin rush that comes with conflict.” And I started to train myself, via conscious effort and it took lots of it because I had years of wrong programing to overcome, to count blessings instead. I had to learn not to wallow in thorns. Just a thought. I think sometimes we get so caught up in the thorns of life, so used to their pricks and pains, that we don’t even see the roses much less think to smell them. Pain can be an addiction. Especially if we come from an environment, a past, that excluded the experience of pleasure. Some folks don’t know anything other than pain and thorns because they’ve never been subjected to the roses. In dealing with others its important for me to remember that maybe they’re still getting the gas confused with the brakes. I know that I still do that from time to time. But the positive aspect for me now is that at least I can remember there are roses mixed among the thorns.

Published in: on January 8, 2011 at 8:39 am  Comments Off on The Thorns of Life