How will we get through this?
Entering April, 2020 with a global pandemic and social distancing, we are likely encountering uncertainty, anxiety, fear, perhaps even dread, all triggered by our past experience of suffering and sorrow. To get through this painful time, to come out on the other side with wisdom and resilience, we would be wise to deal with our pain and our fears during this time.
“There are two ways of dealing with suffering,” writes Almut Furchert, PhD.. “One is to give into despair. The other way is to give into the suffering, by noticing it, and by tenderly leaning into it…”
Of course, we could, and often do, deny our sorrows and fears, stuffing them into the shadows, masking them with schmarmy positivity (also known as toxic optimism). But that is like wrapping a gaping wound in sparkly ribbons and leaving it to fester, or like ignoring a virulent cancer while it proliferates, untreated.
To deal with the inevitable sorrow of being human, we have to acknowledge truth. Life is beautiful and joyful, but that coin has a flip side. Life is also painful and tragic. We experience hurt; we need comfort.
The only way out is through
Almut Furchert has been trained and degreed, at a German University graduate level, in psychology and psychotherapy. She holds a PhD in philosophy of religion, and is an internationally published scholar on Søren Kierkegaard. She reminds us that he wrote this in his comforting notes to the sufferer:
Though it might feel that your suffering
is going right through you,
it is you who goes through the suffering.
The path to sweet consolations, my friends, is through our pain. We need to visit our places of sorrow. We also need to guard against falling into despair, which is what happens when we get lost and mired in suffering. We are approaching Holy Week, a liturgical journey through suffering to new life. April 5-11 offers an opportune time to take an inward journey through the mystery of life. In this mystery we accompanied by great beauty and tender mercy, and suffering leads us into renewal.
I’m inviting you to join me (virtually) next week for a 6-day retreat featuring J.S. Bach’s glorious, musical masterpiece, the Passion of St. Matthew. You can choose to spend as little as 15 minutes daily, or any number of hours, meditating on an Aria, recitative or chorus from the passion, along with “some tender guidance” from our retreat facilitator (who is also my dear friend) Almut Furchert.
Bach’s Passion of St. Matthew Offers the Consolation of Divine Mercy
This online retreat, born of “sheltering in place,” and compassionately, skillfully facilitated by “Frau Doctor Almut,” will assist us as we tend to our sorrows in the presence of the Divine, consoling power of Bach’s Passion. Through Bach’s music, accompanied by Almut’s expertise in philosophy, which is the love of wisdom, we will seek comfort, healing, and resilience.
If this speaks to your heart, please join me in building a community of connection and comfort. Let’s create bonds where renewal and resilience can flourish. Let’s Walk THROUGH this beautiful, sacred time together. In compassionate, communal connection, the path of suffering and the path of love become the same path.
Let’s walk care-fully through this together: an invitation to participate in a consoling online retreat
Register for this online retreat, a gift from Almut Furchert, for all who need consolation in these troubled times.