Today I came across a poignant reflection on a blog I visit from time to time.
The blog writer wrote: ” I wonder if suffering can be viewed and termed as grateful? I believe so. But to actually suffer gracefully is something I have not mastered. I pray for the graces to suffer gracefully”.
The honesty of these word’s written, struck me in the light that they shine into the depths of my own longing, and the very real and raw realizations that I have experienced; particularly through the more recent journey in the ‘dark night’ of the last few years. This being.. that while traversing through this time of arid desert, my eye’s had opened to this very actuality. This being that I have not always suffered gracefully; that I have not always suffered with an honesty and integrity that my soul has called me to hold, and that through all the year’s living with chronic illness, I had not ever really learnt how to suffer gracefully. This is the very way the journey meanders along and the path I walk in finding a unified healing of spirit – and this is the road I must embrace to come to a life worth living with integrity, honesty and in alignment with my soul’s vision. I guess this is the very thing that the mystics show and mentor to me through and in their own lives of deepest pain and light… From my broken humanity, I too, pray for the grace of God – to ‘open me’ – to ‘strip me’ of all the ‘contrasts’ that stifle the very light of life that brings forth new hope – a new life, from the birthing of dark and light, allowing me to feel the growing pains of life gracefully. I acknowledge – I accept -I bless and I surrender to the flow of divine grace that floods my soul each and every day.
One way in which our mind can bring suffering into our experience can be through the internal demands and expectations that we have about ourselves and our lives. In our humanity, we may expect and demand that life be a particular way for us and meets these needs from a self, an ego that in a sense may demand this from us.
Adyashanti speaks of this when he writes ” I want this,”I want that, I don’t want this, I don’t want that, you should be like this, you shouldn’t have done that to me, I shouldn’t feel that way.”
In a sense I feel this is how the mind creates a ”self” that can manipulate reality. An ”unclaimed” self that lives in terror of losing control, losing control of ourselves, our very life, and in which cannot accept the basic fundamental and painful reality; that we are not in control, and we haver never been. Reality and life happen, unfolding as it does. Our thinking and thought processing, in this can create untold internal suffering for us. The mind assets itself as separate, existing somehow divided apart from us, unconnected to the great web of all that surrounds us, and in this fear of separation compartmentalizes the separate and unconnected illusion of who we think and believe ourselves to be. The minds tendency is to compartmentalize and control the ambiguous- the chaotic- and in this ultimately illusory sense of control it feels an inner security and safety is in it’s own self protective internal logic.
This is not to say that the mind does not have it’s own place within the makeup of a functioning personality as I believe it certainly does. Rather the mind, I feel, must come into the the presence and wisdom of the heart and needs to be brought toward the awareness of this ” still centre” thus becoming embraced through the tender compassion of the this great teacher and wise presence within.