I had a conversation recently with a friend who has one of the bigger hearts on the planet. Reflecting on the state of the world, she tells me, “There is no suffering.” Out of kindness, I choose to let her temporary lapse of her grip on reality go unnoticed. Yet, like a seed planted in fertile ground, how such an odd concept could be true has been begging to make its way out of my imagination. And so I present it here:
Pain, loss, destruction are not in themselves suffering. They just are. We are the ones who see suffering in them when in fact they are pure experience. Raw material that we are at choice to work with as we like. We could choose to become sufferers of pain, loss, destruction. We could choose to become one who takes this raw material of experience and in embracing what is gained from it, becomes more than we were before. We could be blessed with a wealth of experience, a treasure trove to help and inspire.
I send out thanks to this friend who saw what I couldn’t see and I share this with you so that you can know what the choice is, when it comes to suffering.
There seems to be no end to the ways we can now, so incredibly easily, take not only still shots but video recordings of every second of our lives and share them instantly, if we like.
If I wanted, I could even add a video to this blog post. Would it still be a blog then? I wonder…. Getting back to the point I’m intending to make, we have the capacity to be outrageously connected to each other. Amazing!!!
I’m asking that in all of your sharings and connectings, you keep in mind the power you have. Bring your heart into the picture. There’s plenty of displays of anger and fear in the media. You be the one who brings a lift, a bit of joy or beauty or silliness. Contribute to light in the darkness.
There’s this expectation that we forgive out of compassion. Seeing the situation from the other’s point of view, that they are doing the best they can and when they can do better they will, walking a mile in their shoes before we judge.
I’m finding this to be backwards. Those lovely perspectives aren’t available to those of us who have yet to attain sainthood. What we can do is forgive for our own benefit. For us. Because we cannot heal from the wound until we do. Not because forgiveness is deserved.
When forgiving happens and we free ourselves from being trapped in an endless loop of anger and resentment, we can be at peace. When we are once again at peace, some of those lovely perspectives might be available. And that is good.
I’m going to say that our endless fascination with how we, or anything we have an interest in, rates in comparison to any other person or thing we have an interest in, springs directly from one of the two defining characteristics of humanity here on earth; We are aggressive. When our aggression gets out of hand, we can become violent.
I also say that we, as humans, may be very attached to this appetite for competition and the rating of each other. It may not seem as destructive as outright aggression. Yet it creates separation, and it is separation that causes humans here on earth’s greatest sorrow: loneliness.
The counterpoint and saving grace for us is that other defining characteristic; We are to our very core curious. It is this that is the source of our greatness.
What would our world be like, I wonder, if we fostered our curiosity and let up on the competition.
Maybe a better title for this blog would be A Color A Day. I’ll let you decide.
The idea here is that we need little respites, especially when the day seems long. To be taken out for just a few seconds. A breath or two.
In the morning, before things revv up, choose a color for the day. Even say to yourself, “Today the color is ____.” You will be amazed to find that your color will show up for you, and when it does, you can take your breath or two. And then go on.
Try choosing a shape. A number. A sound.
One a day. For a respite.