In the long run, “It’s different, but the same,” is the most we as humans can aspire to.
When we finally get there, we get both the fundamental sameness of the human condition and the essential differences between each individual human. We understand that our uniqueness just highlights our similarity, and that distinctive narratives always contain fundamental human truths.
TantraGal is going through family drama now, drama in which she feels reduced to the hurting little girl whose job was to hold family secrets, seeing the sickness and being the buffer. That’s how we become the target patient in a family, the one who ends up riding the pain. On one hand she has broken through that, found a way to help others with her strong mind and strong hands, but on the other hand she still hurts when people act out their own denial on her.
When she thinks, though, looking at the stories of her clients, she sees the commonality, the same threads in every story. Worse, she also sees the resistance to change so many hold, claiming they want to go to heaven but afraid of dying, clinging to old patterns and sicknesses while going through the routines of asking for healing.
People heal in their own time and their own way, which is the most painful thing for those of us who love them, for those of us who need love from them.
But in the end, as unique and individual as every human story is, flavored with special essence, it is all the same story. There is only one human nature and we all share it.
Speaking our own personal truth, when we get down to fundamentals, is speaking the language of what we share and can’t simplify down to an equation. Life is love and love is life, all incomprehensible, all ringing perfectly true.
May you be granted capable and amusing comrades,
observant witnesses, and gentle homecomings.
May you be granted respite from what you know of human evil,
and refuge from what you must know of human pain.
May God defend the goodness in your hearts.
May God defend the sweetness in your souls.
Kate Braestrup, Prayer for Law Enforcement Officers,
from Here If You Need Me: A True Story
Somehow, for example, I see the commonality between those wishes and the wishes of anyone who has to face darkness.
I spent last night working to tell my parents that a friend of theirs passed away. Hard work, but it needed to be done. Just another part of the human story.
It’s different, but the same.
Like me. And you.