Wants and Haves

Elisabeth Elliot wrote a simple definition of suffering in her book Suffering is Never for Nothing. She defines suffering in this way: Suffering is having what you don’t want or wanting what you don’t have.

In relation to 2020, list things you have, but don’t want. These might include (but are not limited to) isolation, loneliness, change, or loss.

Then list some things you don’t have, but want. This list might include steady income, health, social interaction, and security.

Consider these lists for a period of time. Allow yourself to grieve the things you don’t have. Also allow yourself the freedom to rail against the things that have come into your life which are not welcome.

Then create a piece of art that represents one of these difficult things in a literal way. Then create a second piece that shows another, positive perspective. In this second action, challenge yourself to find something good about the things that have caused you pain.

Let this change in perspective be the beginning of a new view that brings growth and healing.

Prompt by: Denise Shumway