Happy Easter and Passover Blessings my dear followers!
Yes it’s been awhile, but when I don’t have much to say, I promise I won’t bend your ear (or, in this case, your eye).
Now, I find I have a lot I would like to share but finding the best way to do that and the time is a whole other matter.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading in advance of a woman’s retreat, as well as participating in Oprah & Deepak Chopra’s latest free meditation experience. The four books we were assigned are by the following authors: Brené Brown, Pema Chödrön, Mark Nepo, and Jim Loehr. The theme of the retreat is all about meeting life as it is and not trying to escape the up and down rhythms that go with it.
Yikes. Much easier said than done. Let me speak for myself…I am good at avoiding pain. I run from it, avoid it and any confrontation that may cause it for me or others, and I’m good at numbing it. I don’t choose anything illegal, just things like television, shopping, reading, being constantly busy, work, and so on. Somewhere along the way I got the impression life should always be happy, pleasant, positive and–if it wasn’t–the goal was to get back to that place as quickly as possible. It’s caused a lot of issues to be swept under the rug, several terminated or unhealthy relationships, and I’m sure some negative health issues that have manifested through unresolved conflicts that rest somewhere below the surface.
Fairy tales even have conflict; of course when I watch a good happily-ever-after story, I like to fast forward through those nasty parts. Yep, I really do. You know when the female heroine gets confronted by an evil force or she does something really foolish–the remote control is there to buzz right through that painful part. That way, I can get to the “happy ending” much faster and without too much distress.
You might say, “Well, of course. We all hate pain. Why in the world would you want to embrace it?” I don’t know…except in those rare occasions when I have sat with the pain, I’ve come away a better person. I’ve learned. I’ve grown. I’ve gained perspective. I’ve developed deeper empathy. I’ve found out things about myself that were both off-putting and uplifting.
What’s the formula for “success” in this pursuit of pain? I have no idea. I’ll probably be trying to figure it out for the rest of my life. But, I do think it’s an important key to balancing strength and grace–which is of course what this blog is all about. Pain enables you to have compassion. It helps us realize that we’re all a part of this human experience in spite of the different views we hold. It makes us not-so-different after all, underneath our declared passions and tough exteriors. Pain, vulnerability, shame–if we live long enough we all share in these difficult emotions. It gives us more in common than we think. I imagine that could bring each of us a broader perspective and some much needed peace.
Something to ponder.
Much peace and many blessings to you today and always!