Monday, January 25, 2010

you don't have to suffer ~

There are many schools that teach about the merits of suffering and how it is an innate part of life. That suffering is the 'human condition' and it's our job to work through it so we might grow stronger and learn from its teachings.

I don't buy it.

I believe we came here to live joy-filled, exquisite lives. I do NOT believe that suffering is 'the human condition'. Or part of the process of learning to be better human beings. Or that we cannot truly know joy without suffering. I don't buy one single bit of it.

All of this began as I was going through my own 'loss' just a few days ago.

I sitting on my couch, feeling sorry for myself, when all of a sudden this image popped into my head. This image made me realize just how much I was choosing to suffer. That I was the one wallowing in this my own demise.

The suffering stemmed from the passing of a loved one. She was (is!) my hero. The little imp who made me laugh and always, always, always loved me no matter what. When she moved on, without any warning whatsoever, I was devastated. And, like most folks, went into full-on denial. No way she's gone forever. She'll be back. She MUST come back. I need her here with me. I just KNOW she'll be back.

As I sat there, staring out the window with tears rolling down my face, I had this vivid recollection of something she'd done just a mere 2 days earlier. It made me laugh so hard I almost peed my pants. She was just being herself, curious and playful, but it was just one of those moments...those moments that fill your whole Being with joy. As I watched this image play in my head, I started laughing aloud...and talking to her about it. As if she were sitting right there with me. And that's when it hit me.

The suffering part is all you. You don't have to suffer. You can hold that love forever, in JOY, not in pain. Just because she isn't (physically) here doesn't mean she's gone. Do you want to suffer? What purpose does it serve? Will it bring her back? Nope. She has chosen her path and it's not your job to say what's right for her. Love her in JOY. Let go all the rest.

In that moment, I realized just how much we are 'conditioned' to suffer. We're told that it's "okay to grieve". And while I think that's true, I also think that the grief is not meant to be wallowed in. It is a process, not an obligation. We don't have to feel badly about someone's passing...and in truth, it is not them we are feeling badly for (about?). The grief is more about feeling sorry for ourselves...and the person we were in their presence. So which feels better? Grief and suffering or remembering the love and the joy we experienced in their presence?

Much as this may sound like denial, it is not. I know she's gone (as far as her physical self is concerned) and she's not coming back. I also know that I will miss her for the rest of my own life here on this planet. But...whether or not I choose to suffer over her absence is entirely my choice. When those moments arise and the tears fall from my eyes, I can allow them to fall...and feel what I'm feeling without repression. And then...I can choose to recall all the many moments of sheer joy that we shared. That little shift, that purposeful choice to remember the zillions of splendid moments we shared, is the difference between suffering or NOT.

I choose to remember the laughter.
I choose to honor her path.
I choose to love in joy.

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