There Is No Cure

I don't know when it started but somehow we are living with a cultural message that emotional pain and discomfort is an illness, like a physical illness, that needs to be diagnosed, treated, cut out, and cured. Everyone seems to be searching for the magic answer that will enable a pain-free, utopian life. A wellness consumerism has evolved, luring those who are unhappy or fearful or want more from an aspect of their lives, toward a promising solution. And yet, sometimes our experiences just have to stand as they are.

We have become impatient, anxious, and omnipotent toward our emotional experiences (and that of others), as if we should know the answers to everything. We have become intolerant and unable to bear the pain of not knowing and being with all of our experiences, including the most unwanted, anxiety-provoking, and painful feelings, which inform the edges of our development.

However, there are times in our lives when our suffering and confusion is too great to bear alone and we need someone to travel alongside us until we can carry more graciously our own baggage of insecurities, fears, losses, and difficulties. There is no cure for our human experiences, rather, it's as Arthur Miller wrote in The Death of a Salesman:

'I think it's a mistake to ever look for hope outside of one's self. One day the house smells of fresh bread, the next of smoke and blood. One day you faint because the gardener cuts his finger off, within a week you're climbing over corpses of children bombed in a subway. What hope can there be if that is so? I tried to die near the end of the war. The same dream returned each night until I dared not to go to sleep and grew quite ill. I dreamed I had a child, and even in the dream I saw it was my life, and it was an idiot, and I ran away. But it always crept onto my lap again, clutched at my clothes. Until I thought, if I could kiss it, whatever in it was my own, perhaps I could sleep. And I bent to it's broken face, and it was horrible...but I kissed it. I think one must finally take one's life in one's arms.'


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