Every single person on Earth hurts; it's when we have shame about our failings that hurt turns into suffering.
I'm reminded of Byron Katie here ... "it's not what happens to me that hurts me - it's what I think about what happens to me that hurts me." (loose paraphrase of a quote I've internalized)
Shame ... it's that insidious lie that tells us that we're not inherently good enough. That we're flawed at our core ... that something is just *wrong* with our being. It's bogus. Big. Fat. Lie.
We hurt. We all hurt. It comes with the territory of being human. We chose this -- it's why we're here (there are other options, y'know, whether we remember them or not). It's how we learn -- by experiencing life ... we learn what we do want, by experiencing what we don't want. Contrast. Doncha just *loooove* contrast...?!?
[Quote from a formerly-numbed-out man...] "I am so glad to finally feel something. Even if I have to cry every day for a couple of years, it's better than having a frozen heart."
This woman possessed a frozen heart for 21 years ... with very brief forays into emotion, from which I quickly retreated. I have known pain. As we all have. I can say, even in the midst of current (though lessening) pain ... I would rather cry daily (& yes, I have at times doubled over, unable to breathe), than to live in a state of frozen numbness. In fact, the more I dive INto the pain, the more I honor it with my attention, the more deeply I allow myself to express it -- the quicker it passes. It's that suppressed pain, that denied pain, that stoically-managed pain, that morphs into long-term (and oh-so-unnecessary!) suffering ...
I know what Albert Einstein meant when he said that the most appropriate response to life is "Sacred Awe."
The more I read about Albert, the more I wish I'd known him. Or ... maybe I do..! ;)
I have read more spiritual texts and self-help books than is probably legal.
Ha! Did I write that, or quote that ..?!? Sheesh, when I glance at my overflowing shelves ... it's like a timeline of my spiritual journey ... what-I-believed-when ... right there in chronological order ... I was once so very sure of what I thought I believed ... and now ... well, the more I know, the less I know that I know. My absolutes done shrunk. I still love to read ... for I love to be reminded of who I am, and what I've forgotten ... I love it when my inner-Self jumps up and down in joy, singing, "YES!"
I do so love those moments...!
Life as a human being here on Earth can not be sanitized, rationalized, or tranquilized into a rigid vision of the way it's "supposed to be." Life will always be quirky, dynamic, changing and messy. The way of the heart -- that inner instinct that draws us creatively into the chaos of life -- is, ironically, also the way out of confusion, anxiety and suffering.
Life is not tidy, comprehensible, or numb. There are no objective standards to attain. There's a sublime beauty to the creative chaos of human life.
I have grown up in a culture and a family that valued thinking and doing over feeling and loving. But here was Chogyam Trungpa, this brilliant thinker, this advanced scholar, and this brave warrior, whispering like a spiritual cupid into my ear: "Follow the tender girl who longs for love. She knows the way. Don't be afraid."
Why, I wonder, would the "longing for love" be so dismissed, so denigrated, so denied, within our culture? Why do we see that longing as less-than, compared with ... success, and wealth, and status, and power, and reputation, and achievement ...? We are love. We are here to learn that ... to express that ... to experience that.
And yet ... it's ridiculed as being "unnecessary" ... perhaps it explains the hollow sense of futility so many of us can feel, when we accumulate all manner of success, wealth, status, power, reputation and achievement ... and then ask, "is this all there is???"
I think I shall follow that tender girl who longs for love ... I think I shall stop being afraid.
Shalom & Namaste ~