We are here to dance together our grief, our hurt,
our woundedness, our vulnerability, our joy,
our triumphs, our return, and our rising insight.
the dreamlike quality of experience helps us to lighten up with the traps we set for ourselves day in and day out….sitting alone in our messes can be a powerful and paradoxical way to step away from them, to reconnect with the lightness of our being, and with others in their messes……
Perhaps you believe that suffering is in fact a necessary part of life. Perhaps you also believe that suffering is a noble feat and a requirement for every worthy endeavor, our greatest work—success, wealth, happiness, appreciation, freedom, creativity, peace and love. Some even aver that such suffering makes us more fully human. All of us have certainly had our share—human suffering is something most people experience on a day-to-day if not a minute-by-minute basis. The type of suffering discussed here is the self-inflicted mental suffering, and it is this suffering, according to Godfrey Devereux, that is a deeply destructive habit that we have all gotten very used to: “The habit of perpetual suffering, even when nothing bad is happening is a socially endorsed habit,” says Godfrey. “Feeling uncertainty, anxiety, contempt, regret, shame, doubt, fear, hostility are all symptoms of succumbing to the unhappy habit of learned suffering, something that happens to most of us over and over again.” Is there anything we can do about this deeply destructive habit?“If you want to find your way to the light, you must be ready to walk the path of shadows.” According to Godfrey, we have the intelligence to become free from suffering, but not if the intelligence of our mind stays in the grip of habit. It needs to be deeply enough grounded in the intelligence of the body for it to become transparent to the intelligence of consciousness. “This happens naturally within a yoga posture practice given to the intelligence of the body by way of the physical sensations it is continuously generating. When the intelligence of the mind becomes deeply intimate with the subtle presence of the body it becomes grounded in consciousness. This happens when we feel so deeply and directly that mind naturally becomes passive while remaining alert and present.” So what gets in the way of us feeling as clearly as possible? “Thinking too much.” Feeling as clearly and as directly as possible, teaches Godfrey, helps us to experience what is really happening versus what is being imagined. Isn’t it a relief to be reminded that nearly all of our worries haven’t happened and chances are, they won’t happen?! And, even if they do happen, according to Godfrey, “even while getting hit by a bus, the Universe is irrevocably supporting you.” Knowing without thinking—how do we do this? Philosopher Friedrich Nietzche once said, “There is more wisdom in your body than in your deepest philosophy.” Godfrey says, “The source of our body and mind is here now—we can’t find it by looking for anything, but only when we give up looking for into a looking at whatever is actually happening. We suffer because we’re not really sure what we are, where we are, who we are. We are nothing in particular, but on the other side of that is everything.”…..Tanya Lee Markul
What hurts us can cripple us, but it can also shape us into something more powerful. But this requires presence. It requires having a different perspective about what it means to hurt and what it means to experience emotional trauma. One way to change our perspective is to look at our wounds as sacred things. Our sacred wounds can be a great source of personal development. Like John Keats wrote, “Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?” Indeed, allowing our wounds to become sacred is allowing Ego to become Soul. If we really allow ourselves to live greatly, we must open ourselves up to being present to our sacred wounds. The ability to have an authentic engagement with life takes the courage to face prior heartache and pain, and the ability to cultivate it and refine it. Either way, the pain and heartache will be there. The question is whether or not we have the courage to transform it into something that can refine our soul. Pema Chödrön said it best: “We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.” Letting there be room is allowing for a space, a sacred space, where we can be fully present with our pain…..Gary Z McGhee