Just give me a pain that I’m used to…” –Martin Gore, lyrics from song mentioned below

Pain is a word that at some point in our lives we all become accustomed to. Whether it be from a physical injury to our body from an accident, a sport, or sometimes just walking through our living room, from time to time we can injure our body and it causes us pain. Pain in our soul is something different. It eats at us. It seems to find a way, slowly and inexorably, through the various crevices within us, showing up at the most inopportune of moments. Soul pain is something that a cast, rest, and pills cannot shake or heal.

Lent is a time when some of us look deeply into our pain. The dark, long days of winter have made us introspective in some cases. We long for the spring buds to appear, and yet the weariness of holes continue to prick at us. And so often we cling to the pain, because we have become used to it. It is easier. It is familiar. Like a friend. It makes me think of a song by the band Depeche Mode.

“A Pain That I’m Used To” by Depeche Mode on the Album Playing the Angel

LYRICS

I’m not sure what I’m looking for anymore

I just know that I’m harder to console

I don’t see who I’m trying to be instead of me

But the key is a question of control

Can you say what you’re trying to play anyway

I just pay while you’re breaking all the rules

All the signs that I find have been underlined

Devils thrive on the drive that is fueled

All this running around, well it’s getting me down

Just give me a pain that I’m used to

I don’t need to believe all the dreams you conceive

You just need to achieve something that rings true

There’s a hole in your soul like an animal

With no conscience, repentance, oh no

Close your eyes, pay the price for your paradise

Devils feed on the seeds of the soul

I can’t conceal what I feel, what I know is real

No mistaking the faking, I care

With a prayer in the air I will leave it there

On a note full of hope not despair

All this running around, well it’s getting me down

Just give me a pain that I’m used to

I don’t need to believe all the dreams you conceive

You just need to achieve something that rings true

Many of us experience a time during Lent of darkness, of pain, of longing for something different. But to experience joy, we must let go of the pain and instead take on release and joy. It is painful and hard. It is a journey, for sure. It means letting go of some familiar feelings of despair, fear and pain for the promise of renewal and hope. It is the soul work found in the missive from St. John of the Cross (1541-1592) entitled Dark Night of the Soul 

This year, don’t conceal what you are feeling. Let your prayers be heard. Let hope reign. Take on joy and change. We know the end of the story; PAIN does not have the final word.  Maybe we will all achieve something new; something that finally rings true, and that leads us away from pain. I’m ready to get off the racetrack.

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