The Revolutionary Potential of Integrated Pain

Che Guevara said that a Revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love. Love is the foundation for true Revolutionary Change. Love is the source of Revolutionary Courage. Love is the fountainhead of Revolutionary strength. And love is extremely fragile

To love others we must love ourselves. This is a revolutionary act in a society that says we are never enough and never have enough. We are too poor, too unaccomplished in our career, too ugly, too undesirable.

And to love ourselves we must come to know ourselves. God damn, that is painful to do. To see how much validation I have sought from others. How much I’ve assessed my value based on how much others value me, or my gifts, or whatever.

I know more about myself now that I ever have before. But there is so much more ground to cover. I’ve learned that my life has been filled with pain. And I’ve spent most of my life running from pain.

I spent over a decade running from my pain by indulging in the Evangelical Hope of personal salvation from sin through faith in Jesus. And in the process I utterly lost myself. I gave myself up in exchange for some person I could never really be. A pattern borne from the evangelical subculture. Controlled. Under control. Dead to my self. Truly I was dead to my self.

I came out of Christianity with all the pain of my pre-Christian days. With all the baggage of fundamentalist mind-fuck added on top. I’ve always had a longing to love and be loved. But to love and be loved is the most scary and unsafe thing in the world.

We must make a choice in life. If we choose a life of love we will have pain. But if we seek to live a life without pain we may never truly experience the exquisite depth and purity of love. Maybe Christianity isn’t so wrong. In this sense: pain has value. Maybe pain itself doesn’t transform. But it can hit us to the depths of our being and become an impetus for us to seek that which will transform us.

Why does a life of love guarantee pain? Because love is free from coercion. Love gives it’s heart away knowing full well that heart may be broken. Love is grounded in Solidarity. What is good for you is good for me. And what is good for me is good you. And when love finds that reciprocation it is the highest glory and deepest depth. The stuff mystics pondered and spoke of.

If we seek to refrain from love or pain we are sentencing ourselves to less than a full existence. It’s a catch 22 though. Because every time we put ourselves out for love and are hurt- that pain can drive us to give up. Or it can drive to seek greater self discovery. And greater self love. Know yourself. Love yourself. And love others. On and on.

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