C.S Lewis once wrote . . .

. . . that "pain is God's megaphone in our lives, rousing us from deafness". Lewis is right, the megaphone of pain is everywhere. You really don't have to look very far or dig very deep to find those places in life where suffering has sway over the very core of our lives.

"This pain may show itself as addiction, anxiety, depression..."

The pain of our lives might be the white-hot fury that sometimes accompanies that one commitment where we vowed to love the deepest and sacrifice the most. It may be an unnamed dull ache deep in our gut for which we have no clue how to begin to identify, much less openly deal with. This pain may show itself as addiction, anxiety, depression, or fighting to keep at bay the memories and effects of past trauma and abuse. As well, this trouble has brought it's good friends, fear and shame - we believe that we ought to be happy, but we aren't. We go on, trying to keep our heads above the water so that others don't see how disturbed we feel. 

But what if realized pain is more of a sign that a deeper look is in order? Looking "inside the cup" and contending with one's deepest desires, fears, anger, and doubts are where conversation with someone who is specifically gifted in discernment can begin to unravel the knots of our lives and bring clarity to the struggles we face in a fallen world as we seek to love those around us. In many ways, psychotherapy begins as a means of naming the obscurity, identifying what our dis-ease is really about. How do we change, not just superficially or behaviorally, but from the depths of our hearts, where God seeks to do his most intrusive, most healing work?

"this is a sacred space where seriousness, hope, and a certain discontent are required."

Quick fixes, while so very attractive in their allure to end pain and grant success, promise something thin, deceitful and unbecoming of the history of how we got to where we are now. The way out requires strength, courage, and a commitment to hope more deeply than we could have thought possible. To come to a place in life where we know that we can no longer settle for "coping skills" but have a desire to change deeply - this is a sacred space where seriousness, hope, and a certain discontent are required. When a person comes to a place where he or she is saying, "I cannot go on," the real work toward healing, movement and purpose can begin.

"Men go abroad to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compasses of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering." 

- Augustine