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When life isn’t going the way you hoped it would, when it feels like you messed up and can’t see how to put it right; when a job’s been lost, a relationship breaks down, when illness strikes or the world looks like it’s going to hell in a boat, it’s easy to feel that everyone else out there is somehow coping and you’re the only one who’s not quite making it – the only one really hurting.
Being caught in a net of private pain is a lonely place to be, but it seems like it’s a necessary stage in times of crisis that we all have to go through. With luck, it’s also precisely this sense of aloneness that gets us motivated to look for help – maybe from a friend, possibly a therapist.
And then, gradually, things start to change. As we reach out, we begin to realise that no, our lives may not be perfect, but – surprise, surprise! – no-one else’s is either.
That’s when the hope of healing enters our brokenness and shines a little brightness into the dark. We get a glimpse of a new dawn, and know that a new and better day isn’t far. In the immortal and much-quoted words of Leonard Cohen,
Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything – that’s how the light gets in.