I know the world is bruised and bleeding and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence.
Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge — even wisdom.
I know from my personal experience that out of pathos (great suffering) we come to know pothos (our sense of emerging self).
Through the portal of the intolerable, we deepen into soul.
Stephen Aizenstat, Dream Tending: Awakening to the Healing Power of Dreams
Recall the way mere mortals are overwhelmed
by circumstance, how great reputations
dissolve with infirmity and how you,
in particular, stand a hairsbreadth from losing
everyone you hold dear.
Then, look back down the path to the north,
the way you came, as if seeing
your entire past and then south
over the hazy blue coast as if present
to a broad future.
Recall the way you are all possibilities
you can see and how you live best
as an appreciator of horizons
whether you reach them or not.
David Whyte, Mameen (extract)
The seed of suffering in you may be strong, but don’t wait until you have no more suffering before allowing yourself to be happy.
Suffering is not enough. Life is both dreadful and wonderful…
How can I smile when I am filled with so much sorrow?
It is natural – you need to smile to your sorrow because you are more than your sorrow.
Thich Nhat Hahn
Difficult things provoke all your irritations and bring your habitual patterns to the surface. And that becomes the moment of truth. You have the choice to launch into your lousy habitual patterns, or to stay with the rawness and discomfort of the situation and let it transform you.
How you respond to tragedy and suffering is one true measure of your strength. You need to see those moments as moments of growth. You need to look upon them as gifts to help you reclaim what is important in your life. The question you must ask yourself is not if you will heal, but how. Grief and pain have their own duration, and when they begin to pass, you must take care to guide the shape of the new being you are to become. So you should not fear tragedy and suffering. Like love, they make you more a part of the human family. From them can come your greatest creativity. They are the fire that burns you pure.