The path of descent is the path of transformation. Darkness, failure, relapse, death, and woundedness are our primary teachers, rather than ideas or doctrines.
I'm not sure I've ever read a statement that resonated so much truth with me.
I spent my teens and 20's learning all the doctrine I could possibly learn and while I tried so hard to practice it all, transformation didn't happen through it. Pain has been the only true source of transformation.
Sometimes it has been self-imposed and light such as living with 33 items of clothing or choosing a vegan lifestyle. But many times it has been all consuming, like the experience of rejection or silence from God.
Pain strips away illusion and teaches us to see.
We can fight it and work to build back the illusion. We can numb ourselves with resignation or substances. Or we can embrace it and become from it.
Pain is redemptive.