Sunday, January 23, 2005

Strength in our weakness

Our most painful struggles can lead us to give to others.

In her book, When Things Fall Apart, American Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron, writes about finding compassion in our pain, a compassion that can give us the power to help others though their struggles. In our weaknesses, we find our strengths. a paradox maybe, but life is full of them. There are no real formulas or mathematical equations in life. What you see may not be what you get.

When life falls apart, we find ourselves confronted with life’s mystery. The questions come. What lies beyond our suffering? None of us can really know. Yet, I believe there is something beyond our material reality that we cannot understand.

The words of Philip Simmons resounds:
“Shamans and nuclear physicists know that our limited everyday understanding of time is a result of our particular cognitive and perceptual faculties. Other forms of consciousness and thus other descriptions of reality are possible. . . we really are in this all together. There are times when the fact that we are in different bodies, or have lived in different centuries, or that some of us have died while others live on or are yet to be born, seems a trivial difference compared to what unties us and abides. Our journey is to suffering and sorrow, but there is a way though suffering to something like redemption, something like joy, to that larger version of ourselves that lives outside of time.”

We may not be in control of all that befalls us in this life, but we can choose how we will respond. We can let go, we can reach out, and let the power of love heal our souls.

When life falls apart, we find ourselves confronted with life’s mystery. The questions continue to come.

What lies beyond the brokenness of our lives?

What happens after we die?

Is there reward for such suffering?

Will the pain ever abate?

Will the grief ever cease?

Will the sorrow ever stop?


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