“Thus I must contradict you when you go on to argue that men are completely unable to do without the consolation of the religious illusion, that without it they could not bear the troubles of life and the cruelties of reality…Perhaps those who do not suffer from the neurosis will need no intoxicant to deaden it.” Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud, like many of us, faced human suffering. After losing his nine-year-old daughter he found it difficult to believe that there could be a loving Father that would allow such egregious suffering. His heartsick remedy was a concoction of neuroscience exploration and cocaine. Although we can be appreciative of his psychoanalysis method and the further study it provoked regarding the human mind, we cannot look to Freud for a healthy heartsick remedy.
As one who has had the “Sprite & Saltine Cracker” days of despair, I can tell you that there is no relief until you tackle your own view of suffering. In my experience, it begins with more questions than answers and requires a level of transparency that feels painfully naked. And, just like in Job’s day, cliché answers given by those standing fully erect breeds only mistrust.
When Eden was a toddler she had to get a shot. As we walked into the doctor’s office she asked me, “Is it gonna hurt?” My answer back was honest, “yes.” My follow-up, of course, was “but only for a little bit, then you’ll get a sticker and a sucker and it will be all over.”
I don’t like to suffer. And quite honestly, I’ve never fully mastered it. Has anyone?
When my heart is deeply troubled, I only know to hang on to the larger story. The story of my heart’s redemption, the sacred purity of my tears, and the end to all pain and suffering.
“I have told you theses things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” Jesus