Wednesday, August 10, 2011


To control others is to have power, to control yourself is to know the way. Lao Ma
Relief at last. My dentist drilled and pulled and cleaned out root canals and the pain has subsided. What didn't appear to be the problem was the problem.

Isn't that just like life?

What is in front of our eyes doesn't appear obvious until we open our eyes to the obvious.

Today, over at Faith. Fiction. Friends. Glynn Young writes, "Poet Michael Dickmann, in his latest collection called Flies, confronts and deals with a death too soon. To see how he does it in poetry, take a look at my post today at The Master's Artist."

In The Power of Story, Jim Loehr invites everyone to ask themselves the question, "Am I okay dying a senseless death?"

Reading Loehr and then Glynn's piece on Dickmann's book, I hit upon the obvious answer to a question that has sat on the edges of my peace of mind for years.

The question began to form on St. Patrick's Day, 1997 when my brother and his wife died in a collision. There was lots of mystery and drama around their passing. Lots of unanswered questions. Truths too horrible to face and so we let the details of the events leading up to their death pass and focused on mourning their loss.

But the questions grew.

Did they or didn't they do it intentionally? Did they or didn't they know what the consequences of their actions would be upon their two beautiful daughters and all of us who loved them? Did they or didn't they have the courage to right the wrongs, face the truth, face, as it appeared they would have had to do, the judge and jury and the outcome of what had gone so wrong leading up to that fateful St. Patrick's Day.

In the end, the answer to my question is, the questions do not matter. What matters is Love.

Always has. Always will.

Pain is transitory. At least this pain in my jaw was. When it didn't seem to have a known cause, when it appeared to not have an obvious answer, it's transitory nature was not obvious.

What was obvious was, it hurt. It was affecting my outlook on life. Oh, and I was taking way too many pain-killers.

In finding relief from 'the pain', I have a clearer mind and an opportunity to reflect on the impact of the pain on my daily living. Not good, btw.

I was grouchy. At times. Listless. At times. Staying way too still. At times. And... not breathing deeply. At times.

And yet, at times, I was effective. Engaged. Active.

It all depended upon my level of pain and the degree to which I succumbed to the lure of believing -- if I do nothing the pain won't hurt so bad!

Reality was, if I did nothing, or did something, the pain wasn't really any different. It was just my attitude, and my belief in my ability to overcome the pain that differed.

Like grief.

Immersed in the loss, we cannot see the world beyond the obvious darkness of our feelings of grief.

Beyond the grief, it's obvious it was our dark thinking that was keeping us connected to the truth we desperately want to deny -- we cannot change the circumstances of who or what we've lost. We cannot bring them back. We can only change how our loss impacts our lives -- will it have meaning? Or will it be 'senseless', as Jim Loehr calls it.

And that is the truth I stumbled upon this morning reading Glynn's post.

My brother and sister-in-laws deaths were not 'senseless'. All the facts, proof, details of what transpired cannot change one irrefutable truth. I loved my brother and his wife. Still do.

And there is never anything senseless about Love.

Mother Teresa was right, I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.

I had a toothache. It is gone.

And love abounds. Always did. Always will.



Glynn said...

That's exactly right. We move mountains to find th answers to those "burning questions," only to find that the real answer is love.

Maureen said...

So glad the problem with your tooth has been resolved.

Grief, as painful as it is, is something we have to acknowledge; to deny it is to cause greater pain. At the same time, the knowledge of loving and being loved helps alleviate the grief and to pick up and go on.

Like you and like Glynn, I believe the answer is Love. We're fortunate to know it. Not everyone does.

Louise Gallagher said...

Thanks Glynn -- and thank you for inspiring my thinking this morning!

Louise Gallagher said...

So true Maureen -- we must be in the grief to move through the pain.

and it is unfortunate that there are so many who do not know that Love is the answer.

It's why I believe it's so important you and Glynn and others like all of us write and speak and act in Love.


Joyce Wycoff said...

Glad to have you back painfree and sharing your overflowing wisdom.

Anonymous said...

Ditto Joyce!

trisha said...

toothache is horrible. happy to know that you are relieved now.

i have suffered for years.

lots of love.

S. Etole said...

I find pain to be very distracting and it causes me to withdraw. I'm so glad you have found relief ... your love is always evident.

Fi said...

Glad to hear you've got the pain sorted. Having had root canal treatment, I can appreciate the kind of pain you are talking about. There's no pain like it, in fact I would rather give birth than go through that sort of pain again.