You can’t change the world until you see yourself as the world. And then you only change yourself.
To the extent that we deny our needed suffering, we refuse the needed suffering of the world. We resist the virus-related suffering occurring now, pleading for it to end, because we have long refused our own suffering. We have skimmed the surface, or dipped our toe down, under the threshold of comfort, but not far enough, not enough to truly feel and befriend the forlorn.
The temptation is to have this quarantine cease so we can get back to the old suffering we are more familiar with. The unconscious suffering that we call “normal everyday living”. The suffering of banal jobs, hectic, disembodied living, disconnect from family, pushing ourselves, our children, the planet, to illness and denial. There is comfort in this suffering, deep running unconsciousness, so inured we are to it.
At least with the current virus-related suffering, as hard as it is for so many, there is more consciousness. There are people wondering and reflecting, forced they are to slow enough so there is separation, which allows space for observer consciousness. A, “Hmmm, do I really want to continue living like that?” And, “How did this come to be?”
Yes, it’s hard to witness suffering, let alone experience it. As one who has lived through a great deal of it, I know first hand. Yet, tell me, have you not grown more through hardship than ease? Have your biggest transformations not come through the crucible of deep suffering?
Have you noticed that God / The Universe does not sweep down and rescue us from our suffering? Yes, miracles do happen. There is grace. But when you consider the wide-sweeping profound suffering of the world, why wouldn’t a loving God / Universe stop that?
So, why should we? Who are you to refuse another’s suffering? The world’s suffering? What are you rescuing them / it from? Perhaps you are resisting what you cannot be with in yourself. Maybe the pain out there you see and dwell on is pain in you untouched.
And so anger and resentment are the name of the game. Pointing at all the reasons this endless, painful, nuisance of a quarantine should not happen. Turn the clock on suffering back to February 2020, back to the “normal” suffering we can all unconsciously agree to. Isn’t that much better?
No, suffering is needed, my friends, because Life will not let us continue down the old, exhausted road of unconsciousness. Rapid transformation is in the air and it seems to demand it. Pain, heartache, grief, loss, uncertainty, these are all part of the story of humanity and evolution, like it or not.
The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu tells us, “To be worn out is to be renewed.” Often dramatic and traumatic endings must precede beginnings. We must be emptied, stripped bare of all we deem essential, so humility can finally reach our hearts and we, in that openness, can birth a new way of being.
The way out is the way through. Not by removing suffering, but by befriending it. Not by limiting yourself to anger, shouting, “This should not happen!” (even if COVID was instigated by dark forces). But by feeling your way down into your forgotten body where a whole world of denied suffering waits for the attention you spend so much time giving “out there”.
Remember, you are the “solution”. You are the light the dark waits for. Maybe, just maybe, the dark forces are waiting for you to show up, to be the light, to bring the light to the darkness in you.
“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.” ~ Rainer Maria Rilke
“A group needs enemies, because without enemies its identity cannot continue to be defined.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
Check out Vince’s book: Wild Empty Spaces ~ Poems for the Opening Heart
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