Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Suffering I

Today, the father of one of my closest friends is dying, and she has gone to be with him.  This has made me think of death and suffering.  When we have compassion, we feel the suffering of others.  To have compassion is human; to suffer is also human.  Yet, one of our strongest habits is to avoid feeling our suffering out of fear.

Here are some helpful thoughts to tell ourselves during times of suffering:

Don't worry, me, I am here with you, within you--I am you, not separate from you.
I understand everything that you are going through, everything that you think, everything that you do.

Yes, you have suffered enough. But you will suffer more, despite that, because this is your lot.  Because you are human and you are surrounded by an imperfect world and imperfect human beings, just like you.

But you can suffer less than you do.  You can stay strong and centered and detached.  You can listen to others and have compassion.  You can feel their sorrow and sadness, and your own painful feelings.

But let those feelings live in you and MOVE!  

Don't hold onto them.  Don't try to get rid of them. Don't tighten in response.  Don't run away from them.  Don't deny them.  Don't minimize them.  Don't exaggerate them.  Don't ignore them. Don't fight them.

Above all, don't fear them!!!!!

Do not fear those feelings, my dear self.  Those feelings are a gateway to your True Self, just as pleasant ones are, as well.  Do not fear your feelings, for they are all a necessary part of who you are.  Pay attention to them, and let them be what they are.

Allow all feelings.
Allow them to move through you.
Feel them deeply, and let them  move you.
Feel the sadness, the sorrow, the compassion, the depth of humanity, the suffering.
Just make sure that you let it all move!

BREATHE with the feelings, and let them move you.

Movement is LIFE.

Breath is LIFE.

This is the way to open yourself and know yourself, so do not be afraid.

You fear yourself--which is necessary at first--but then come closer.
Do not let the fear stop you from coming closer and closer to who you really are, beyond those feelings.

Overcome your fear!!!
Open yourself to this fear, to all feelings, and risk knowing and loving yourself fully, just as you are.

I am here.
I am here for you, with open arms.
Here to embrace you and keep you safe.
Open your arms to yourself, and open your heart.

Surrender to the fear and open yourself up anyway, despite the fear, despite the pain.
Find me in your breath, as you let the feelings move inside.
I am here, I am here, I am here.

I am you.

Look no further than inside your own being.
I am your very own Self.
So open up to me and breathe and move, and LIVE.

Dare to be your WHOLE, TRUE SELF.

The only way to real happiness is to accept and move through whatever comes...

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