The Three Graces of Chronic Not-Wellness

Sharing these words from Naomi.

The thought I’ve been dwelling on this week is the idea of not having ‘a spirituality borne of functionality’. So often my focus is function, where it should be something closer to adoration. Naomi’s words beautifully pick up this theme:

Increasingly, I’m convinced that life is about noticing, not producing.

Words worth sharing.


Around a year ago, I began a Quest. Admittedly, it was not as exciting as the Chaucerian or Middle-Earth variety, but it was still a long journey that I would, in an ideal world, not have needed to make. My Quest was facing up to the fact that I was, chronically and perplexingly, Not Very Well.

Not-Wellness had been a slippery companion for several years, coming and going as it pleased, proving manageable and unmanageable by turns. It had a variety of ploys for Making Me Feel Lowkey Rubbish, its favourite being nausea. I felt sick, in bad phases, most days, for hours at a time. Not the eat-something-bad-throw-it-up-and-get-it-over-with kind of sick, but the pernicious, lasts-for-ages, doesn’t-appear-to-have-a-cause kind of sick. At its mildest, it was a vague discomfort that generally appeared after eating. At its worst, it was all-consuming, physically exhausting, and completely incapacitating, the only real solution being…

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  1. Just when so many of us who are so preoccupied with our own trials feel isolated there then comes along a story of one who makes us feel that what we shoulder each day is not so bad at all.

    There is a story of a person who was so dissatisfied with the cross he had to bear in life that he prayed that he could change it. So one night in a dream Christ came to him and showed him a room filled with an endless variety of crosses. Christ then said to him if he was not happy with his present cross to choose one of those. So he entered the room and placed his cross in the room as he entered. After a long while of trying different crosses he chose one. He then excitedly brought the chosen cross to Christ and said: “This is it!” Christ replied: “Very well, but that is the cross you came in with.

    We are who we are with all of our baggage, of our choosing or not. All the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly.
    Christ in solidarity with us chose not to come down from the cross. For to come down would be human, to hang there is divine. He would not let us suffer alone, thereby, He gave meaning to suffering. Suffering like struggling paves the way for a greater good. And no greater good is there than that which comes from an act of love. And no greater love is there than to give up one’s life for a friend. The Creator gave up His for His creatures.

    There are 4 things in this world that are striven for by man and woman. They are wealth, pleasure, power and honor. None of those are on the cross that Christ embraced. Wealth? He possessed but the clothes he wore. Pleasure? He was scourged and crucified. Power? He was pinned to the cross. Honor? He was humiliated, spite upon and ridiculed. So what then is left there upon that cross with those most sought after things missing? We are left with, a happy man.

    That which we don’t possess can not possess us. In freedom is joy.


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