Going through my divorce was so painful. The life that I had built, the dreams I had, were now crumbling around my feet. The pain was overwhelming. I developed different ways to cope with this pain. Some of them were good, and some not. To find peace, I dove back into my long abandoned hobbies. That helped some. That was good. I jumped back into the dating scene, thinking I was ready. Not so good. That did not bring me peace, even though I desperately wanted it to. I wanted this attempt to forget my pain to be validated by it bringing me a sense of peace and happiness. When it didn’t, I tried harder. One of my favorite ways to justify what I was doing was to tell myself, “God wants me to live in a multicolored world, not a black and white world”. Multicolored was supposed to be vibrant and exciting. Black and white was drab and dull. “How could God not want me to be happy?”, I would ask myself. “Of course He does!”, I would reassure myself. In my mind, the ticket to my happiness was doing exactly what I wanted to do and my “multicolored world” self-talk was how I rationalized it.
Life in my multicolored world was all about me and my personal happiness. And I was miserable. In an effort to ease my pain, I made my happiness my life’s main pursuit. Sadly, the more I chased after it, the more it would slip from my grasp. Only after being on this chase and always ending up in the same empty place was my heart ready to hear the truth that God had been trying to tell me all along: real, lasting, happiness comes only from pursuing Him, not me. In hindsight I now see that my rationalization was my way of running from this truth. My pain was too great to allow me to focus on anything but myself. Once I shifted my focus off of me and onto Christ, I was able to get off the treadmill. Instead of pursuing me, I pursued Christ. I pursued Him by pursuing my Catholic faith. This time, the more I pursued Him, the more I found Him. I found Him in a powerful way in the Eucharist, I found Him in the Mass, I found Him in Scripture. I found Him in Reconciliation. Finally, I found Peace.
“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” – St. Augustine