You will always be in conflict and there will always be a need for reconciliation and repair. The people around you are different than you, and your competing desires produce tension, sometimes agonizingly so. It is not hard to see the world around you is in turmoil. You are probably even in conflict within yourself. Repair, or reconciliation, is what brings all things together. Any beauty we see is the orchestrating of disparate parts into a state of resonance. We must learn to enact this type of reconciliation and practice it routinely. If we do not do it daily, things fragment and fall apart.
When bad things happen, it is easy for us to feel as if God has abandoned us or is punishing us, even though it is clear good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people. We sometimes start to feel guilty or as if we need to change course when bad things happen since we think if we are “doing things right,” we should be rewarded! Yet the sun rises on the evil and the good and rain falls on the righteous and unrighteous. Basically, it’s a crapshoot. The fact that bad things are happening to you does not necessarily mean you have done something wrong or you are headed in the wrong direction. It could, but sometimes it means you’re headed in the right direction. I often tell people (usually when they are setting a boundary or trying on some new behavior), “If it’s difficult, you know you’re doing it right!” People don’t usually like that. 🙂
It seems like life is equal parts death and growth. You cannot have one without the other – unbounded growth not pruned back by a little death will become unruly and unmanageable. At the same time, you will not always be moving backwards (experiencing death and loss). There will be a time to burst forth in growth. Don’t be afraid of either. You should learn to make friends with your loss and pain because they have so much to teach you. What has taught you more than your pain? At the same time, do not be wary of growth and success. You should be wise enough to realize you can lose at any time, but you do not need to live in fear of these losses or when they will reemerge. The losses only serve to shed what is not needed and let you return to a phase of growth and thriving. It is all the gift of life.
It is healthy for us to be connected to and to have a sense of ourselves in our own stories. This means we have “at hand” everything, good and bad, that has happened in our lives in the past and present and we can see ourselves moving into the future with a coherent sense of who we are. This is another way of being “present”.