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Circumstance's Folly

Many years ago I wrote this poem:

A life that’s based on circumstance

Keeps you wondering with time,

If reason will wear out itself-

A floundering circus line.

The tightrope walk where danger lives

Is stealing away your rest.

You teeter through the trials of life

And fall into nothingness.

But can Love be your safety net,

Will it catch you when you fall?

I don’t know if I’ll trust in it again,

Time will tell us all.

This old poem has me thinking - can love really be our safety net? I guess it depends on what or who you view as love. If God is love, then surely He is our ultimate safety net, which then by default means that love can be our safety net. So theoretically, we can safely fall as we teeter through life’s tensions, if we choose to believe and walk in love. Easier said than done right? What follows is then the actual walking out love, which ultimately comes from a place of trust, and trust walks in the opposite direction of fear. If you look at a lot of the tensions we walk out in this life in the analogy of a can be an uneasy, fretful journey if you walk in fear. It actually has the potential to be debilitating. I think that this is actually where the “danger” is; bowing to fear while walking in the tension. I believe we are meant to walk out these tensions with the firm belief that love is the netting, the undercurrent, the safety underneath our journeys.

I was recently listening to a Richard Rohr podcast where he mentions Ricoeur’s concept the "second naïveté” which fascinated me. It may be a concept familiar to many, but I’ve never crossed paths with it. Being who I am, my mind instantly attached the concept to my present situation, regardless of whether or not it’s meant to be applied in this way. After walking through almost 15 years of abuse, I was concerned that the experience would rob me of my love and, in a sense, naivety around people. I wanted to choose to not be suspicious and guarded. I’ve found it a thin line to walk - being wise, but not suspicious, being loving, but having boundaries etc. So to hear Rohr talk about this "second naivete”, and apply it to my situation, my heart nearly wept with gratitude to have words to what had been going on inside of me. He says, 

"It seems we all begin in naiveté and eventually return to a “second naiveté” or simplicity, whether willingly or on our deathbed. This blessed simplicity is calm, knowing, patient, inclusive, and self-forgetful. It helps us move beyond anger, alienation, and ignorance. I believe this is the very goal of mature adulthood and mature religion.”

Rohr also says,

"We must go through the pain of disorder to grow up and switch our loyalties from self to God.”

I think in switching my loyalty to God, i.e. Love, I can therefore journey in a much greater freedom than one riddled with the fear that comes from being loyal to myself and my own ideologies. And it is indeed a "blessed simplicity" that comes.

Anyways, those are the thoughts I had banging around my head today…

I’ll leave you with a drawing, drawn for some friends, that reflects how I’m feeling at the moment.

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Stephe Jayne
Stephe Jayne

Thank you so much for your vulnerability in sharing Trisha, as well as your encouragement. It's a journey, that's for sure ❤️❤️❤️


Trisha Walsh Devenish
Trisha Walsh Devenish

Such a good blog. I’m so glad you’re writing it. For me after being hurt so badly when I lost my baby boy, I lost my trust in God, so there was always an edge in there. The last 3-4 years I’ve been reading some really good books which are teaching me to trust again, to not walk in fear, to walk in boldness. love the words of Rohr too. I needed the pain to switch from self to God. still working on this. ❤️❤️

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