Of the two forms of response to life situations that seem impossible to grasp, lament is far superior to complaint, even if complaint is allowable.
But what is lament? What does it mean to lament? How does one lament?
Lament, for me, means to sit in the sadness, to feel the resignation, to refuse any attempt to change the situation or our response. Lament, in short, means to simply accept. And in the acceptance is the key to life itself. We may go through our whole entire lives and never really have any sense of grasp on this holy and sacred state of being human.
A person only needs to experience this raw lament once and they will be convinced that is the only way to connect to the higher heaven with our feet firmly planted on this earth.
Imagine sitting in the truth of the very undesirable situation, and not only being able to sit in it and accept that it cannot be changed, but to embrace that truth that tends to kill our hope.
It seems so fanciful from our vantage point, perhaps having never been there. But not only is there a place, the one of lament reconciling us to a miracle, but it is a miracle, and the key to life itself.
Complaint, on the other hand, is the normal human response, and it’s so very understandable, but it doesn’t take us anywhere good. Complaint takes us around the mountain once more, and when we arrive back where we started, we’re offered another turn around the mountain, and then another, and so on until we have enough.
Lament is in another realm compared to complaint, the former is heavenly and spiritual, while the latter is worldly and secular. Just as God’s ways are higher than our ways, and his thoughts higher than our thoughts, so lament is heavens higher than complaint.
Allow me to illustrate.
When finally I arrive at the place and situation of stillness in that situation I can hardly bear, I have transcended my need, my desire, even my insistence, that I can control what I can’t. This is a crucial first step in accepting something so basic yet so thoroughly elusive to almost everyone.
Of a real sense, this lament is quintessentially characterised as humility.
It’s what the mystics teach us if ever we depart from the world long enough to read what they wrote. Go back a few centuries, go back to the dark ages, read, and you will find the same questions are asked that are asked today, and the same answers abide.
In the core of lament is the solution to anxiety, to depression, to all manifestation of not being able to reconcile this world. The utter paradox is, in giving up all sense of control, we gain about all the control we’ll ever need.
Lament is the highest yet humblest form of spirituality.
In life we do not need to change a thing – especially the painful thing. Those things that would have frightened or saddened us beyond compare are there to be held in order to take us deeper than we’ve ever been.
Truly, nothing can break us if only we can be still and know we will be alright if we simply abide in calm serenity. Not only that, but in simply sitting there in it, we’re taken fathoms deeper in our spiritual growth than we’ve ever been.
Truthfully, it’s the true holy grail. And it’s the absolute simplest, powerfullest thing.