“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could spare them from all suffering? No, it wouldn’t. They would not evolve as human beings and would remain shallow, identified with the external form of things. Suffering drives you deeper. The paradox is that suffering is caused by identification with form and erodes identification with form. A lot of it is caused by the ego, although eventually suffering destroys the ego—but not until you suffer consciously.” Eckhart Tolle
“Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal.” Cheryl Strayed
“There is the solitude of suffering, when you go through darkness that is lonely, intense, and terrible. Words become powerless to express your pain; what others hear from your words is so distant and different from what you are actually suffering.” John O’Donohue
“Peace is within oneself to be found in the same place as agitation and suffering. It is not found in a forest or on a hilltop, nor is it given by a teacher. Where you experience suffering, you can also find freedom from suffering. Trying to run away from suffering is actually to run toward it.” Ajahn Chah
How I wish that I could explain to those I love, how wrong the world is. I wish I could go back and erase all the messages that I passed on, some intentional, but so many more that I just inadvertently taught out of my own weaknesses and fears. I wish I could redo it, putting more emphasis on embracing it all and releasing them from any sense of shame for simply being a human being.
The world tries to write our stories with its labels and limiting beliefs. We are too weak, we are not enough, we failed, we can’t, we shouldn’t. There is nothing that happens to us that we need to fear. We can face it. We can overcome it. We can heal. Continue reading
“We lose so many people every day to unresolved pain that overwhelms their consciousness. More than 800,000 people suicide each year worldwide – around one person every 40 seconds. Few are well-known. Most live anonymous lives. We must prioritize authentic revealing and emotional release in our world. We must slow down to see each other deeply and to share our inner worlds so that no one feels alone with their pain. We must find a way to bring our compassion to bare with others. There are so many of us here, yet so many suffer in isolation. We have to keep peeling the masks away. We have to keep sharing our truths. We have to make an effort to reach through the thickets of misidentification and shame and connect with each other in real time. We have to.” Jeff Brown
“We will meet many difficult moments in our lives – people will abuse us or take us for granted, people we love will leave us; our expectations of others and ourselves will be disappointed, and there will be times when we are misunderstood or judged unfairly. The difficult encounters and moments in our lives spiral into complexity when aversion and fear are layered upon them. With aversion come innumerable ideas about how we think the world, other people, and ourselves should be, together with our strategies for turning those ideas into reality. With fear is born in our imagination what might befall us, the endless possibilities of misfortune, and our desire to flee from difficulties. Oscar Wilde once said, “The most terrible things in my life never actually happened.” In case they do, we want to be well rehearsed.
There is a simpler way of being with the difficult and painful in this life; to listen closely; to stay present, to investigate, and question – “Here is suffering. There are causes that can be understood without blame. What is the path to the end of suffering in this moment?” The path may involve intervention, the courage to say “no,” wise action; it may involve forgiveness, tolerance, or patience. Whether our response to suffering is an inner or an outer one, compassion roots itself in the dedication to ending sorrow. Our capacity to make peace with the difficult is hindered and made complex through the added ingredients of aversion, fear, and avoidance. These are the layers of complexity that we can learn to understand and release.” Christina Feldman
“The world of suffering and freedom has a lot to do with how we choose to respond to what is given to us, to the present moment itself. What is given may not be to our liking. But, even so, through mindfulness practice we can awaken to the creative potential of choice in how we respond. To choose to respond with aversion, anger, fear, or clinging continues the creation of suffering. To respond with more attention, or without reference to our egoistic attachments, interrupts the cycles of suffering. Creative freedom is not possible if choice is rooted in egoism.” Gil Fronsda
I am always in need of reminding of what is important. It is so easy to get caught up in things going on in the world and our reactions to them. It is easy to get caught up in the reactions of those we love and take on their journeys as our own, worrying about the things that happen.
I find it harder because I also believe it is not enough to know for myself. I want to allow other people their own journeys, but I also want to be sure that I am speaking up on important issues, and that I never get so comfortable I do not see the suffering around me and fail to feel anything or do anything about it. Continue reading
“Pain is physical, suffering is mental. Beyond the mind there is no suffering. Pain is essential for the survival of the body, but none compels you to suffer. Suffering is due entirely to clinging or resisting; it is a sign of our unwillingness to move on, to flow with life. As a sane life is free of pain, so is a saintly life free from suffering. A saint does not want things to be different from what they are; he knows that, considering all factors, they are unavoidable. He is friendly with the inevitable and, therefore, does not suffer. Pain he may know, but it does not shatter him. If he can, he does the needful to restore the lost balance, or he lets things take their course.” Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj