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Friday, February 18, 2011

Soul Searching

“You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth or falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you.” – C.S. Lewis in A Grief Observed

Andie has been gone 8 months today and through a lot of reading, research, and deep soul searching, this is what I’ve come to know.

We all think we know so much about the world and the way it works. But we really don’t truly know much at all. I was naïve enough to think that I knew happiness, sorrow, joy, and pain in my former life…but what I’ve come to truly know is that I only understood those things on a fractional and miniscule level, through the hazy perceptions of what had been taught to me or what I had experienced in my relatively easy life. It is through the difficult, bring you to your knees, make you want to die moments that the veil is lifted and you are awakened to what is truly there at the deepest, purest level. This is when the “aha” moment occurs and you finally “get it”.

When I use the word “know” I mean at a level that is deep within you, that shakes you to your core, that nobody can reach save for God and maybe yourself. To know with a conviction and with a purpose.

You cannot know light unless you have known darkness.
You cannot know joy unless you have felt despair.
You cannot know gratitude unless you have been in need.
You cannot know love unless you have been alone.
You cannot know comfort unless you have been in pain.
You cannot feel exhilarated unless you have been loathsome.
You cannot find yourself unless you have been lost.
You cannot triumph unless you have failed.
You cannot find strength unless you have been tested.
And I dare say…
You cannot know God and have faith in him unless you have had a reason to know him.

If there have been no trials, tribulations, or tragedies in your life to test your faith, then how can you possibly know how to call upon that faith? You can’t until you have to…up until then it’s all theory and conjecture.

The veil has been lifted and I see the world as I’ve never seen it before. I consider things from a new perspective, believe in things I once doubted, and know things in a way I don’t think I could have ever come to understand had I not been forced to go through this process. It’s akin to not having a true idea of what parenthood is like until you’re in the middle of it. You think you know…but you don’t really know.

Despite the fact that there is a gaping hole, there is a depth and richness to my life that was probably always there but only now am I able to acknowledge it and appreciate it. Though there are questions, there is a deeper spiritual connection. A stronger faith- not only in the existence of a God, but a faith in myself.

There is a sense of knowing. Of being privy to information that the rest of the world is not. I feel like I know some of the secrets of the universe now. I value people and relationships more than ever. The focus on career, salary, material things is no longer meaningful. Things that people around me focus on and worry about seem petty and inconsequential, and it is though my heart gets a sly smile as if to say, “if only you knew, if only”. I feel more grounded, more confident. I feel truer to myself than I have ever been. There is a sense of being on the “right” path, though I never knew I was on the wrong path before. I have an inner serenity that I’ve never felt. My eyes have been opened in a way that I cannot even put into words. I have been enlightened. I get it, I finally get it.

I have come to understand that God gives us the negatives so that we can then, and only then, truly understand, know, and appreciate the positives by comparison. It is so we can appreciate the difference, because we cannot have one without the other.

“I once was blind, but now I see” - John 9:25


  1. i was going to highlight the parts of this that really spoke to me and say so... but it's pretty much all of it. thanks.

  2. ... Beautiful. Some days I get a tiny taste of that awakening, and then revert back. I look forward to the day when I can openly admit the beautiful gifts that grief can give. Thanks for having the courage to write this.