Poem: “I Get To”…& Thoughts on Suffering

Have you ever been stuck in a “case of the need-to’s”?  Yesterday I was sitting with people and listening to their words, and I heard myself often in their words: “I need to do this…”, “I think I am supposed to head in this direction, but I don’t know…”, “I still feel sad, I just can’t get it to go away…”  I heard them.  I understood them.  I have said those words often, and many more.  These sentiments are perhaps a part of your daily rhetoric as well.

…And then a poem (sentiment) came over me – (that is how so much of my poetry comes to me)…  These words left me to ponder – still am – so I thought I would share them with you:

I Get To…

The world doesn’t need me

…I get to live in it

Love doesn’t need me to go ‘round

…I get to accept it and give it

Life doesn’t need me to do anything

…I get to honor it

Suffering doesn’t need me to obliterate it

… I get to express it

Joy doesn’t need me to master it

…I get to discover it

Truth doesn’t need me to justify it

…I get to rest in it

                                                              ©Kristin Kennedy, 2011

What struck me in these words was the fact that so often we try to wipe out suffering whether it is in ourselves, or causes, or in the world.  I do think we get to “love into” suffering, and I think that is powerful, purposeful, and known to be effective, but I think there will be suffering.  Arrival is not the elimination of suffering, but the expression of it, the acknowledgement of its presence, the concept of bringing it into the light – normalizing the reality of it versus trying to conquer it.  There is freedom in that.  When we set ourselves up to the impossible goal of “arriving” and not experiencing suffering, then we set ourselves up for perpetual failure, self-criticism, under/over achievement, and so often that perpetuates emotions and physical dis-ease.  When we eliminate the concept of arrival equals success, and martyrdom in our suffering, and when we give freedom of expression with it (different from complaining), then we invite healing, unity in the cause, unity in the journey, understanding, camaraderie, acceptance, love – all the things that would nurture us and others in our suffering.

It would be great to hear your thoughts.  Let’s dialogue.  Integrative thought:  We don’t “need” to do anything to impact this world, but we “get” to…and the circle is that when we realize the “get” to’s, we impact those around us in very powerful ways.


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