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Leaving the Suffering Business

Updated: Jan 17, 2021

A brilliant question came to me this week: when we are preoccupied with an outcome, when do we cultivate presence? The answer that came to me was, we don't. That's kind of the point, isn't it? Stay busy so you don't have to feel. And yet, moments begin to pass without significance, clutter begins to accumulate and it's difficult to decipher was is true, what is necessary, what is essential.

There's always something waiting for us when we stop and allow ourselves to breathe. Often it's pain, sadness or loneliness. We may not understand why this returns and it's not easy to sit with these feelings and witness them. Yet when we avoid these moments, we lose the power of the gift they offer.

My experience has taught me that everything, even grief, is temporary. What has prolonged my pain is the avoidance of it, the refusal to acknowledge it. When we are physically wounded, the injury needs to be tended to or else the whole body is at risk. Our spirits are the same. I used to wear my wounds like badges of honour. Nothing hurts me, nothing touches me. I don't feel a thing. As a result, I suffered tremendously. It gets to be exhausting, trudging along, carrying dead weight and bleeding out.

“Out of the wound emerges the teacher, your wisdom, your wholeness." - Pat lillies

I know the transformative power of pain. Today, I am no longer in the suffering business. Feeling sad isn't a sign that there is something wrong. I would also challenge all of us to be careful of the words we use to describe our feelings as all too often we're labeled as "depressed" when what we are experiencing is grief.

It's time for deep purification and time to see the past in a larger context, one that includes hope and resilience. I invite you to allow yourself a moment to experience this.

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