Suffering and masks

In his 1918 diary, Hermann Hesse writes, “You know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation…love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it. Give yourself to it. It is only your aversion that hurts, nothing else.”

I read this quote recently and then decided to look into the context from which Hermann Hesse has written. Here it is from what I discovered on Wikipedia: In 1900, Hesse was exempted from compulsory military service due to an eye condition. This, along with nerve disorders and persistent headaches, affected him his entire life.

Hesse lived a majority of his adult life in suffering. I wonder if he was open and honest about his suffering. So many times we hide and mask our suffering, appearing to have everything together. I think this is especially true when we suffer emotionally.

Do you wear the “I’m not hurt mask”, after being criticized or ridiculed? I used to wear this mask growing up on a daily basis. The buried hurt over the years really was never really resolved until about 3 years ago. I came to realize that only by going back and doing the hard work of uncovering the roots of this pain, could I let the healing love of Christ in to forgive the consequence of the disrespectful words that pierced my heart.

He can do that for you too. Right now, in two small groups, we are reading and diving in deeply to a book titled, Emotionally Healthy Spirituality. The healing has already begun for some and together we are probing a deeper abiding in Christ. Check it out and explore the freedom you can find in taking off your masks.

As Hermann Hesse wrote, “do not resist it”, do not resist explore the reasons behind your custom made mask. Life exists behind the mask.


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