Thursday, October 8, 2009
Pain and Suffering
Master Osho said, "Pain is simply pain". I am sure he is not the only one who ever said this. But he is my reference at this point. I happen to agree. I always have agreed. People often belittle their pain by saying things like, "I'm sure this is nothing compared to what others go through." The thing is that there is no way to really compare pain. One person's pain is not more valid than another person's pain. Pain is, in itself, valid. It is a signal to us that there is something that needs to be experienced and healed.
Suffering in our lives is when we actually try to avoid pain. It comes from the concept that there should be no pain in our lives. It is the denial system of the mind that causes this. Quite often we are driven by our minds instead of flow with our hearts. The mind tricks us into thinking that our lives should be a certain way...namely, painless. We really don't need to should upon ourselves. If we embrace pain, we then communicate with our experiences and get through it as we heal.
I remember how painful it was for me to know that a relationship that I had become comfortably trapped in was actually coming to an end. The suffering that I experienced was not the ending of the relationship. It was a result of how I thought the relationship should have been in the first place, then the fear of the unknown of what was to come after the ending of the relationship. It was also wrapped up in the illusion of the pain I saw myself to be causing by ending the relationship. Yet having walked through it, the pain is much less than the fear and suffering was perceiving it to be.
It is also said that how we die is how we have lived. I remember how hard it was to watch my mother die. She did suffer a lot as the cancer spread and ate away at her body. But when I look back on this event, I also realize that she suffered a lot each day. She was not the type of person who would make radical changes in her life. Some of what she experienced was quite painful. But she also chose to try to deny the pain, and I think that in doing so she lost some of the opportunities to learn and grow and to heal the pain. Thus her death had much suffering, just as her life did. I hope that when my time comes to cross to the other side of the Veil, I do so laughing all the way. Yes, anyone who knows me knows that I laugh a lot. I can't help it. I have been fostered into having a sick and twisted sense of humour. I see the humour in most things that others would not see as funny at all. Yet there I am, laughing and totally enjoying the experience of laughing. I think that I have laughed more than I have cried in my life. For this I am grateful. There have been many tears. It is nice to be able to look back and see that the scales have tilted way over to the laughter side of things.
Yes, when we are in the valley and know that we have to ascend the mountain in order to find love within our hearts, it does help to have a friend there with us. We gaze at the mountaintop and wonder if this journey is going to be worth it. A true friend waits patiently beside us and encourages us to take it one step at a time and to know that he or she is right there with us, even though they can't take those steps for us. We have to make the effort. I feel so blessed to have had friends like that in my life. It has made the journey so much easier and thus tremendously decreased the suffering.