Dealing With Life’s Great Wounds: Abandonment

One of the things that haunts most people, whether it be consciously or unconsciously today, is a fear of abandonment. People who have dealt with physical abandonment (having a physical necessity denied to them) or emotional abandonment (having an emotional need denied to them) understand the pain that this causes on their psyche. They live with a fear of loss and separation and can often fail to give themselves what they need because they’re too preoccupied with trying to prevent others from leaving them. Experiences of abandonment often leave us with a great loss of confidence and paralyzed by self-doubt. We are left wondering if we are defective. We ask, “What did I do?” “What is wrong with me?” People who have experienced some form of abandonment often have struggles with intimacy with other human beings. Whether it be manipulation, power struggles, having a great deal of entitlement, or many other things, most people have at some point in their lives endured an abandonment (parents, friends, a break up). Abandonment leaves us in a great deal of fear.
Gethsemane. In the knowing of what was ahead, Jesus was begging his friends (disciples) to stay awake with him to keep him company and pray for him. After two pleas with them to stay awake, he tells them to fall asleep. On the Cross, we see Jesus screaming at God, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” In his own experience of his final hours, we see Jesus face the deep absence and abandonment of those closest to him. It ought to bring us great comfort in our times when we fear loss and separation, that we are not far from Christ because we share this common reality. In sharing these moments, we move closer to intimacy with Jesus because we also understand his anguish (and he also knows ours!). In those moments of absence, in some paradoxical way, we are much closer to God than we could ever imagine.

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One thought on “Dealing With Life’s Great Wounds: Abandonment

  1. Danny says:

    Well said-it helps put some pieces together for me. Thanks for talking about this.

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