Sunday, February 07, 2010


We are all very unique. Our damage is also very unique. None of us have experienced the same things and been hurt in the same ways. But one thing that seems to be consistent with us all, at least until something enters in so as to see a change begin to happen in the games we play, and that is, while we are in protection mode, we always blame the difficulties we find ourselves in and the pain and frustration we live with on someone else or on the circumstance we find ourselves in. And in turn, this reality leaves us cutting off (and holding at arms length is the same thing) the very ones we are in need of. The sad reality is, we have come to trust in the things that will never heal us and set us free. And those very things have left us suspicious of the truth and the environment where healing and freedom can be found.

"I suppose since most of our hurts come through relationships so will our healing and I know grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside." The Shack

These thoughts this morning got me to thinking about a conversation from Bo's Cafe.

While looking down over the city of LA, Andy asks Steven to tell him what he sees. Steven, like most of us, is too busy...too preoccupied trying to control his life...and too frustrated and too pissed off, actually to the point of being blind as to what is going on right in front of him. All Steven can come up with is "I see lights" and "Lots of stuff. Some good, some not so good."

Andy has come to a place in his life where he is seeing things more honestly...more realistically because his mind is less cluttered by all the crap. And after a time of pressing Steven to think a little deeper, even to the point of Steven being a bit annoyed, Andy offers him some help in seeing.

"Yeah, lots of stuff. Husbands and wives fighting. Angry kids fuming in their rooms, resenting their parents' authority. Some of those lights are cars with sad and lonely kids inside, driving around acting tough, looking for something...anything."

Andy closes his eyes and rubs them. "It starts young doesn't it? They get hurt. Maybe they get hurt really bad early on.And if they're not careful, they learn something that takes a lifetime to unlearn. They learn to cover up, to protect themselves. They don't even know they're doing it at first. But later they can't stop it even when they want to.

All those people down there, walking and driving around confused---angry, hurt wounded, afraid, resentful---they all have some things in common.'

He stops speaking, as if he wants me to ask. I begrudgingly reply, "What's that?"

"Well," he says, after doffing his cigar into an over sized ashtray, "they've learned to protect themselves. Now they're adults and they're discovering this cruel secret: they can't protect themselves. In fact, the last person who can protect them is them."


zinger said...

I found that Bo's Cafe really cut a little too close to the bone. Especially that scene. It brought back some deeply painful memories of transitioning from the safe or more accurately the known boundaries of home and my small town, to the big city life. It almost undid me. Walking through a city that size where not a soul new or cared whether I lived or died,or laughed or cried, it was scary. Father is starting to unpack some of the scary corners of my life...Lots to think on....

Cheers Jon

Kent said...

Jon, I saw myself all through this story....the old me and some of the new me and hopefully some of the me that is still waiting to unfold before me.