Thursday, September 19, 2013

And The Answer Is....

Sometimes after I post something on my blog I receive messages from my heart.  Especially if the post was like the one I wrote yesterday!

I was knee deep in self imposed suffering (is there any other kind?) yesterday and wondered why it is we insist on suffering.  Why do we insist on putting ourselves in positions where we are uncomfortable or where we are trying to stuff ourselves into a societal expectation.

I received the answer today.

Want to hear it?

The answer to why we choose to suffer so much is that we cannot know who we are until we experience who we are not.

That's it. We cannot know who we are until we experience who we are not.  And sometimes we will choose suffering to get the point across.

This is one of those Universal 'aha' moments where you feel the weight of the world lifting off your shoulders and you are finally able to take a deep breath and smile.

I love this answer for a few reasons.  It's logical for one.  Secondly, it's simple.  It makes perfect logical and simple sense that in order to know who we are we must first experience who we are not or at the very least who we do not wish to be.

This is an easy thing to remember when you are staring at the person in the check out line who is less than friendly or you witness someone trying to merge into construction traffic while smoking a cigarette and talking on their cell phone.  These behaviours most likely remind you instantly of who you do not want to be.  Get us on our own though and suffering will be the easiest avenue we take to recognize that in ourselves for ourselves.

What is actually hilarious about yesterdays situation is that the entire time I was suffering I knew that I didn't need to.  I knew and still I chose.

Today.  Today I know who I am or at least I have a better idea and I'm feeling a little more comfortable in my own skin. 

So thank you Suffering my old friend for once again showing me that everything is a gift.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Addicted to Suffering

Are you addicted to suffering?

I am....sometimes.

Like today.  I chose suffering when I decided I would sit down and write out my speech for a talk I am presenting next week.  I love public speaking which is weird because I'm a total introvert.  I like to entertain.  Something I've loved to do since I was a little girl and my sister and I would get silly and run into the kitchen and do silly moves and silly things in front of my parents and their friends only to run out again giggling.

So it wasn't the thought of speaking that was creating suffering.  It was the fact that I don't do well with a written script in front of me.  I do really well off the cuff and speaking from my heart.  For some reason every time I am asked to speak I get it in my head that I need to write it all down.  Because well isn't that the 'right' way to do things?  I've learned in the past that it isn't the 'right' thing for me to do but somehow my brain gets fixated on getting it accomplished and convinces me that I will feel better if I have it all written out.  So I write and erase; write and erase.  Enter suffering...  I become increasingly frustrated with myself.  My head and heart start to pound.  My back starts to hurt and I can't think straight anymore.  My pulse and breathing quicken and I am worn out and need a nap and all I have down is 'thank you for the opportunity to.....'.

Gah! old friend.  Why are you so comfortable?  Why do I not recognize that you are making me feel like shit about myself?  Why do I entertain you so?

Whether you insist (like I do) on doing things the way other people would prefer you do them or you've been working in a job you hate for years on end or you get caught up in what is happening around the world and sink into the fear of 'what ifs' you will know all too well the suffering I am speaking of.

So why do we insist on suffering?  Do we honestly believe that to suffer is to succeed?  Do we honestly believe that we deserve such treatment from ourselves (because it is only us that causes the suffering)?

Just tonight I was chatting with a friend who has resigned from a job she has hated for a very long time.  She said she felt like she could breathe again.  I like this very much.  I want my friends to be able to breathe.

So if we like feeling like we are able to breathe; why do we hold our breath so much while we suffer?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Mind Your Business

Have you ever loved someone so much that you wished they would change who they are because who they are makes you uncomfortable?

You know the loved ones you have in your life who are overweight or still eat meat and you wished they would take better care of themselves and for goodness sakes take up vegetarianism because that's what you did or that's the lifestyle you've chosen and it seems to be working out just fine for you.

Or the ones who are constantly complaining about life or are depressed and you wish they would be grateful for what they have and for goodness sakes start a yoga practice because well that's what you did and yoga completely cured your depression.

Or what about the loved ones who have a hard time holding a job or insist on smoking cigarettes even though they are constantly sick and you wish they would get their act together and see that they are killing themselves slowly with their cigarette addiction.

Have you ever loved someone so much that you wished they would change their behaviour to something more accepting in your eyes?

I have.

Lots of times (and if I'm being honest I still do).

Though I often thought during those moments that my suggestions for supplements, exercise and gratitude were signs (proof) that I loved that person very very much and was showing my unconditional love for them.  I am very aware now that my suggestions were conditions to how much I could love that person and I would bet money that what those people were feeling as I was preaching how they should change their ways was not at all conditional love.  Instead they probably felt inadequate and not good enough for my love.

Unconditional love means unconditional acceptance of every behaviour and choice your loved ones make.

Unconditional love is realizing that just because yoga and veganism for example are your choice; it doesn't have to be the choice of others to maintain health and happiness.

Unconditional love is allowing your loved ones (now this is the hard part) to experience life the way they wish to experience it even and especially when they wish to experience suffering, depression and denial of themselves.

It can sometimes be the hardest thing in the world to see a loved one suffering.  Because we really do love them and we really do want them to be happy.  At the same time the ultimate act of love is allowing them to go through that for themselves.  Taking that away from them or trying to erase it altogether is an act of disrespect to their journey.

I've also heard it said that the only reason we don't like to see someone else suffering is because it reminds us of our own suffering that we've been trying so hard to hide.  Ah, that sounds about right.

Lets do our loved ones a favour and really love them by letting them alone to do and be as they please. 

And if their suffering is uncomfortable to us then maybe it's time to take a look at our own suffering and see if we can apply our own advice to heal ourselves.