Including Suffering

Apr 17, 2013
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Photo by Roger McKeever

Including Suffering
 -Roger McKeever

My mother called me yesterday to find out if I was okay.  3,500 miles from Boston and she calls to make sure I'm okay.  I comforted her as much as one can comfort someone who loves and cares as deeply as only, perhaps, a mother can.  What she didn't know, and what I didn't tell her, is that the reason I didn't pick up the phone the first time she called was because I was in the middle of sobbing my heart out after reading the news about the Boston Marathon Bombing.  What I couldn't say is, "Mom, I'm not okay.  I've touched a sorrow so deep that I feel like I may never return from it.  No, mom, I'm not okay.  How can any one be okay with such reckless and unnecessary tragedies in the world?"

I hung up the phone loving my mother more than I ever thought possible.  In that moment, I felt the little shards and shrapnel of anger and hurt, that lay in the bottom of my heart, come pouring out in a flood of tears.  It was here in this spontaneous act of forgiveness and letting go that I realized the power that suffering can bring.  True happiness and contentment only arrive at our doorstop when we're willing to walk down the stairs into the basement of our raw, unfiltered, unmasked  hurt, sorrow, and loneliness.

Recently, I had a day of feeling stuck, uninspired and hopeless.  I texted with a dear friend of mine about my boredom and disdain for everything and everyone.  She wrote to me, "Before you spend too much time wallowing in self-pity and self-destruction, remember how many sources of inspiration exist... including suffering." Needless to say, it blew the doors off of my self-constructed woe-is-me story.

I don't know exactly how to process or what to make of these tragedies that happen daily all over the world.  What I do know is that I can not avoid or turn my back on the reality of this complex world.  I know that I must face it squarely, and that I must also turn to the people that I love for touch, for comfort, and for that silence that holds the depths of my human experience without the need to control it or take it away or fix it.

I send a million invisible threads of love from my heart out into the world. Peace to the world. Peace to all who suffer.  Peace. Peace. Peace. Shanti. Om.