Relief is a great feeling. It's the emotional and physical reward we receive from our bodies upon alleviation of pain, pressure and struggle. A time to bask in the lack of the negative. And yet, think about it-relief is really the status quo, a negation of the suffering, a nothing in itself. It is the way things were before the pressure and struggle began. So, is it a step back? A regression? Or is it an opportunity to regroup, start over, and move in a different direction? Use your moment of relief well.
There are two sighs of relief every night in the life of an opera manager. The first comes when the curtain goes up The second sigh of relief comes when the final curtain goes down without any disaster, and one realizes, gratefully, that the miracle has happened again.
I shut my eyes, turned away for a moment, and it came: a shiver of finality like the one when you decide, in your own mind, that you're going to have to tell someone who loves you that you don't want to be with them anymore. Terror, and relief; relief and terror, so intermingled that they feel like the same thought.
Time Does Not Bring Relief Time does not bring relief; you all have lied Who told me time would ease me of my pain! I miss him in the weeping of the rain; I want him at the shrinking of the tide; The old snows melt from every mountain-side, And last year's leaves are smoke in every lane; But last year's bitter loving must remain Heaped on my heart, and my old thoughts abide. There are a hundred places where I fear To go, -so with his memory they brim. And entering with relief some quiet place Where never fell his foot or shone his face I say, 'There is no memory of him here!' And so stand stricken, so remembering him.
Everyone knows that a quick-fix usually doesn't work, yet we have all been sold on the idea time and time again. Most of us would like to believe in miracle drugs and fast relief. The truth is that most of the quick fixes for stress focus on temporary relief from tension or pain. Temporary, as in, the problem will return with a vengeance. This doesn't mean we should never take drugs to alleviate tension or pain, it just means that taking drugs is not a viable permanent solution; it's just a temporary relief.
Our anxieties were driving us to become other people-he was Earner; I was Mother, like characters in some phenomenally boring Ionesco play. We both worried all the time and often didn't remember to laugh. I could find relief in the baby's smile, or with my friends, or now, in yoga. I didn't see that Bruce was headed someplace where there was no relief.
The pain of aloneness and pointlessness is piercing. It demands relief. That single fact - that the pain of living apart from God is unbearable - exposes our sinfulness as horribly grotesque and foolish. We insist on finding relief without coming to God on His terms.
The brief relief of seeing other people when I leave my room turns into a desperate need to be alone, and then being alone turns into a terrible fear that I will have no friends, I will be alone in this world and in my life. I will eventually be so crazy from this black wave, which seems to be taking over my head with increasing frequency, that one day I will just kill myself, not for any great, thoughtful existential reasons, but because I need immediate relief.
So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief; Verily, with every difficulty there is relief. Therefore, when thou art free (from thine immediate task), still labour hard, And to thy Lord turn [all] thy attention.
With time and perspective we recognize that such problems in life do come for a purpose, if only to allow the one who faces such despair to be convinced that he really does need divine strength beyond himself, that she really does need the offer of heaven's hand. Those who feel no need for mercy usually never seek it and almost never bestow it. Those who have never had a heartache or a weakness or felt lonely or forsaken never have had to cry unto heaven for relief of such personal pain. Surely it is better to find the goodness of God and the grace of Christ, even at the price of despair, than to risk living our lives in a moral or material complacency that has never felt any need for faith or forgiveness, any need for redemption or relief.