“There are only two things that pierce the human heart. One is beauty. The other is affliction." ~Simon Weil
He's on fire. My client. He's having one real conversation in his life after another. He went to a big event last week intending to be bold and deeply connecting in all of his conversations. He was. He's becoming more alive.
She's excited and scared and happy and worried. My client. For the first time in her life, she's giving herself permission to be herself; to be a jumble of emotions. The phrase "of course I am" is passing her lips and it feels good to simply be. She's becoming more alive.
I'm having a very emotional few weeks. I've spent more time in the last two weeks with my mother than in my entire adult life. It's bringing up all sorts of junk from my past and I'm noticing blind spots that I thought were long gone. I'm grateful to be in it but there is no doubt that I'm struggling. I'm becoming more alive.
This is the real stuff of our lives. Suffering and affliction and beauty. It's real. It's all real. We gotta get at the real stuff if we want to come alive.
C.S. Lewis famously wrote about a bus load of people arriving to the outskirts of heaven only to get back on the bus because they had no way of dealing with awesomeness in front of them. Their lives had been numbed at such a level that they couldn't bear the beauty.
We all have a strategy to avoid suffering. The good news is that it works. We can numb our lives, and we pretty much all do at some level. The bad news is that it works and although we may miss out on the suffering, we miss the beauty too.
We might as well be dead.
I think there's a better way: real conversations about the real stuff in your life. Stir up that aliveness that is wanting to come out of you. I'm convinced that the more real conversations we have, the more alive we will be.
I challenge you to start a real conversation with someone today. A simple question will usually do it--like: Where have you seen beauty in your life today? Or Where have you seen suffering in your life today? Warning, real conversations might become life altering.
You can even start a real conversation with me; click on this link and answer 3-heart probing questions. I commit to respond privately only to you and to keep your responses completely confidential. I can't wait to see what we create.