'To be human now is the reason we follow the star....'
W H Auden
Meeting with Pain 2
Giving the Pain a voice - an example of some work done within Speedwell
You hate me and would disown me - yet, I exist.
You hate me since you cannot control me and have your own way. Yet the only power I have is that with which you invest me. If you would but surrender your grip on me, let me be and not fight against me, you would find in me something of your own underlying nature.
Trust me: learn to trust me and let me show you part of the richness of life.
You fear me since you let me divest life of its meaning and depth, and you fear that life itself - as you know it - may disappear. Yet you could make me work for you and. add meaning to your life.
I can break you open so that the buried seed of your life stands open to the sun. Open to allow it to grow and mature and eventually to bear fruit. Then your fear would be understandable. Fear of what this situation is asking of you; of where it might be leading you.
You fear being useless, or perhaps more honestly, you fear being thought of as useless. What you do has become too important. I can show you that life still carries on, even when I have stripped you of all that you thought important; all that bolstered up your self-image. Life is more than this.
You tend to identify with me. When will you learn how much bigger than me you are? I am only a part of the totality of your life. If you could but learn this, you would discover something of the depth of life.
Trust me. Learn to trust me and LIVE.
Why the name 'Speedwell'?
The botanical name for Speedwell is ‘Veronica’. Tradition has it that Veronica wiped the face of Jesus as he was carrying his cross out to Calvary. Veronica is a possible model for those of us who try to help others. In the same way as Veronica could not prevent the crucifixion, we can not get rid of chronic pain. But we can be alongside someone, offering ourselves and journeying with them as they learn to accept and live with their pain.
Veronica is also a corruption of ‘Vero icon’ – the Latin meaning ‘true image’. My own journey with pain and suffering has taken me, as it must anybody, to a vastly different understanding of the world, creation and my part in it; to a different relationship with the Divine. For me personally, the work is about bearing the true image of what I have seen in the world, as I enable others to make their own journey of discovery.
The only path ahead for each of us in pain, is the one we create by walking on it. Perhaps in the end, it is the journey that is of importance rather than any imagined destination.