My Meditation teacher walked into the room tonight and asked, “How’s everybody doing with their suffering this week?” 😄 The question was half joking but it also was very serious because we’ve been working on suffering as catalyst for growth and change.
We all suffer for different reasons. Some of my worst suffering has been self-inflicted. It was caused by my attachment to things, people and expectations. I’ve learned to let go of things. I travel much lighter these days. While I am much better now at letting go of people who do not align with me spiritually any longer, I do still feel guilty when I have to distance myself from someone. That causes me suffering even though I know it is for my best interest. And, admittedly, I still get hung up on expectations. It’s a constant struggle for me to stay mindful and see when I am “expecting” something or attaching myself to certain outcomes. Expectations always lead to suffering. That’s a big concept to accept but think it over for while. You will see it’s true. Our expectations of situations and people set us up for disappointment. Learning how to control my expectations is my challenge and my biggest opportunity for growth.
Over time I’ve learned the only way to transmute suffering is to first invite it to the table with you. Live with it. Sleep with it. Own it. I’ve also learned suffering is universal. Everyone suffers in one way or another. Some of us cause our own suffering. Some of us cause suffering for others. Some of us are attached to our suffering and wouldn’t know how to live without it. But, those who are conscious are capable of transmuting suffering into a powerful agent of change and growth in their lives.
Tonight I ask you ~ How are you suffering? What is in your life that is holding you back? What are you attached to? Do you have expectations that are causing you disappointment?
I also ask ~ Who would you be if it fell away? If you stripped everything away – if you lost it all – your job, car, house, clothes and reputation, who would you be?
Can you sit in with your suffering and feel it? Can you sit in the middle of all the crap that’s rising up inside of you and just be still with it without trying to move it, fix it or put a happy face on it? Can you accept it?
Lastly, are you willing to let it go, let it all go to find peace with in? Are you willing to surrender into your suffering and allow it to change you?
(C) 2015 Linda A. Long – All Rights Reserved