Last week I invited you release something/someone you are burdening, which no longer serves your highest destiny path so that you experience living light as a feather. Otherwise known as joyful living...
What are you noticing? I would love to know here.
This week I am called to speak about suffering. So much of my life's work of late has been about understanding and then sharing the nature of suffering.
From this reflection a deep inquiry arises:
How do we live joyfully in the face of so much suffering-- both in the global world and in our personal world?
To get an authentic, practical, action oriented "answer" I believe we must first realize, that yes, suffering is inevitable. For each and everyone of us, if we are lucky.
Suffering is a teacher. Without the lessons, we stay stuck.
What is suffering?
Not accepting the burdens we face...
Judging the burdens and our response to them.
Expending all of our energy resisting "what is" therefore depleting us of the precious energy to make necessary changes to live, love and enjoy life.
What are our burdens?
A few examples:
Abandonment, abuse, addiction, anger, anxiety, depression, illness, loneliness, loss, neglect, self hate...
Do we all face burdens?
Yes, at some point in our life, we do.
If suffering is inevitable, how do we live with joy?
Meeting ALL burdens with non-judgmental - compassionate - acceptance.
Many of us hold our burdens so tightly we allow them to confine and define us. We identify with the darker parts of our humanity (remember those shadows?) and ignore the lighter parts. We end up feeling shame, guilt, fear. We do this to ourselves and others. And "they" do it to us. It's not how we are meant to live.
Once we face the truth of our burdens, through acceptance, we free up the energy of resistance.
I share an example of acceptance and embracing the parts of ourselves we feel shame /guilt/fear about (our shadows) in my book, Reclaiming Joy on page 32 when I speak of my unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Until I accepted, nothing changed.
What do we do with this freed up energy (remember energy is our #1 asset)?
We direct it towards healing.
Healing ourselves, and in the process, helping one another heal.
We learn to view all experience, including and especially our burdens, as opportunities to awaken more fully into the life we were meant to live. In the process of awakening, we cultivate compassion, wisdom, and ultimately deep self love. Compassion, wisdom, and self-love become the foundation of our life from which all prosperity flows.
We look in the mirror and know our worth no matter if we are poor or rich, Ceo or janitor, single or married, thin or heavy, abused or enlightened, addicted or clean...whatever.
As we accept our own burdens and cultivate compassion, wisdom, and deep self love, the next step is to extend non-judgmental compassionate acceptance to others.
It is from this place of acceptance that we heal and so too the world. Beneath the facade, we are one. One heart. One love. One energy.
So, is suffering inevitable?
Are we able to experience suffering and still live in joy?
In the face of inevitable suffering, when judgment ceases, and acceptance prevails, we are able to live joyfully.
Is this an easy way to live?
Over time, it's the only way. Enough said.