Working with our emotions 3:Not taking in suffering

To acknowledge that suffering has an origin is already a form of abandonment of sorts. It means rather than thinking “I am the victim of a frustrating world that refuses to conform to my wishes” , we acknowledge that suffering is an inevitable part of life and it is something we take within ourselves by the way we react to circumstances…..We tend to personalize everything. Why everything gets at us and makes us so angry is because of something our mind is doing – but to acknowledge that entails giving up some position of “me” and “my emotions” that are right and justified. Now, I’m not saying that abandonment means not feeling anything – that attitude really drives people into dangerously repressed places. The way is about seeing how things get under our skin ad chafe our heart. It’s about abandoning the action of taking in dukkha. We widen our perspective into being aware of how we are feeling and with that clear and steady awareness, we can watch the mental process very carefully.

Ajahn Sucitto, Turning the Wheel of Truth

You are not alone

There are no quick fixes to some of the problems which people can face. Sometimes they can seem even greater by the sense of isolation which they produce.  Fear can close us in on ourselves. However, through remaining open to others and sharing, we realize that there is no law that states that we have to go through problems all alone.

The human story is both personal and universal. Our personal experiences of pain and joy, grief and despair, may be unique to each of us in the forms they take, yet our capacity to feel grief, fear, loneliness, and rage, as well as delight, intimacy, joy, and ease, are our common bonds as human beings. They are the language of the heart that crosses the borders of “I” and “you”. In the midst of despair or pain you may be convinced that no one has ever felt this way before. Yet there is no pain you can experience that has not been experienced before by another in a different time or place. Our emotional world is universal.

Christina Feldman. Compassion: Listening to the Cries of the World

When we are hurting

Don’t turn away.
 Keep your gaze on the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you. Rumi

It is a bewildering thing in human life,  that the thing that causes the greatest fear is the source of the greatest wisdom. Jung

Making barren places fruitful with kindness

When we consider that Helen Keller was blind and deaf, her words on how to make the most of life are reminders to  all of us  to look beyond the difficulties that come our way each day. Her focus was on what she could do for others and on not what the thoughts in her mind or others’ minds said she could not do.

Join the great company of those who make the barren places of life fruitful with kindness.  Your success and happiness lie within you.  External conditions are the accidents of life, its outer wrappings.  The great, enduring realities are love and service.  Joy is the holy fire that keeps our purpose warm and our intelligence aglow.  Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulty.

Helen Keller