- guardian.co.uk – Lucian Freud
Self-Care Tip #136 – Get something other than anger from your pain.
Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.
Say it however you want, everyone gets and everyone looses. We could say, “Life,” if you prefer. Or insert wherever you think good things come from and where they go.
Who hasn’t just gotten their fingers around something they wanted, realizing more and more each moment that they really wanted it, pleasure rising, gratitude and satisfaction driving itself deeper inside – just to find it somehow escaping their grasp?
Morris Venden, preached it. He had a low, hound-dog voice, a face to match and severe social phobia he struggled with life-long that just added to his beauty. He preached his own shared experiences with people. People like me and you.
A man working a job he never liked finally retires and buys his little house to grow old in, a garden he could play with, and a year later finds the love of his life suddenly dead with cancer. And it all turns to ash for him.
Early portraits by Lucian Freud
Your firstborn dies.
You were cruel in a debase way.
You develop mental illness.
Your divorce is ugly.
You father commits suicide.
You have a disabled child, and then another.
You prostituted yourself for drugs.
When I heard Venden give this talk the first time, I thought I got it. Even now after years and after darkness, I think I get it.
Before one of his talks, when I was still in medical school, Venden asked me to sing this with him.
Angels never knew the joy that is mine, for the blood has never washed their sins away, tho they sing in Heaven there will come a time, when silently they’ll listen to me sing “Amazing Grace.”
We stood there on stage. Me smiling too largely because that’s what I did in front of people. He, uncomfortable, a little blunted and suited with a thick knotted tied, stood a few paces away.
And it’s a song holy angels cannot sing, ‘Amazing grace, how sweet the sound. ‘And it’s a song holy angels cannot sing. ‘I once was lost but now I’m found’
I looked at his droopy moustached face and his eyes were red and wet.
Holy is the Lord, the angels sing, All around the throne of God continually. For me to join their song will be a natural thing. But they just won’t know the words to “Love Lifted Me.”
This is what Morris Venden thought he was getting from pain.
What ever our pain-story is, was, and becomes, holding the anger is gripping the ash. For Morris Venden, he took care of himself by finding this instead of anger – more knowledge of God’s love. Moving his grip to that was his self-care.
Question: What are you getting from your pain? How do you do self-care when you lose? Please tell me your story.