Suffering totally sucks.
Watching people we love suffer, totally sucks.
There is an obsession in our culture with doing well and being happy and it propels us into doing everything we can to not suffer. We make all sorts of plans and learn a whole bunch of information and practice skills so that we can make a fantastic life full of rainbows and butterflies and exquisite lovers and cold hard cash. Let’s outsmart suffering. Let’s outgrow suffering. Let’s out evolve suffering. Let’s do it better than our parents so we won’t suffer.
Don’t let the irony be lost on you. The running from suffering is itself a path straight into the big S.
Because it’ll come a knockin’.
Loss happens and can be slow and a long time coming. It can be fast and blindside you. Grief and pain and shame and the whole gamut can be something that we try desperately to flee from or we can move right into it and allow it to shape our hearts.
No one is exempt from loss and pain and suffering. No one. That guy who seems to have it all together? Suffers. That chic you wish you could be just like? Suffers. All those people who have it better than you do? Suffering.
At different times, to different degrees. All of us.
We can allow this common thread to show us how we’re the same, to bring us together and get to know each other more intimately. The more varied our experience of pain and suffering become and the more we can actually stay with it and not try to blindly escape it, our suffering can soften us.
Can you feel into that? How your own broken heart can more easily touch the broken hearts around you? How your disappointment and devastation can be a teacher of tenderness? When we can actually surrender into the profound vulnerability of being a human being, we can open to a lightness and peace and feeling of being deeply connected to all beings that truly is like bathing in sunlight.