“Whatever you do, don’t try and escape from your pain, but be with it. Because the attempt to escape from pain creates more pain.” – The Tibetan book of Living and Dying.
I’ve been thinking a lot about of suffering lately. What a year we have endured of suffering, of loss, of fear or radical life changes. It’s been painful and hard…and yet because of those losses and freedoms we have discovered and remembered the many gifts and beautiful pieces of life we already have. This year has gifted us with the unbelievable opportunity to blow the dust off of the gems and riches of life we already have around us. In many ways, this past year has been leading up to this solstice. This is a gigantic astrological time where Jupiter and Saturn will meet in Aquarius, starting a beginning of Aquarian conjunctions. This is a new time, a new era, a new consciousness birthing into life…on the solstice! Powerful, powerful stuff. So I want to invite you to celebrate, honour and ritual with this powerful time of healing and transformation.
This past year has been a year of shedding, of karmic and ego releasing….of deep, deep healing. It has brought about a lot of pain for many of us…the sacrifices, the losses, the changes…have been immense. And let’s face it, many of us are uncomfortable with pain and often just want a quick solution or idea so we can move us out of pain and suffering. People want to offer us that quick solution too. The intention is absolutely loving but sometimes we just need to be held, to be offered space to feel darkness, sorrow and pain and that’s tough for many to offer because they don’t know how to do so for themselves.
What I’ve been learning from Buddhist texts is that “life is suffering.” There will always be suffering, we all will suffer at various points in our life whether physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually and really all that we ought to do is accept this notion. There is suffering in life. Say it with me, “there is suffering in life.” There is also light and beauty and radiant joy….both are beautiful.
This is an easy and yet complex tough concept that I’ve been playing with in my heart and in my mind. I’ve been trying to sit in my suffering, like really move into it. I close my eyes and settle into the suffering in my body and you know what happens when I simply allow what is there?? It dissipates…it softens…the edges sting a little less. It becomes ok and somehow like a sacred act and holy union between my spirit and my physical self.
Perhaps it’s from not battling what is, there is a gentle release in my body. The defenses soften.
So, often when I’m “suffering” with physical discomfort or even emotional discomfort I try and battle my way out of it with a “positive thought” or action or even will power. I positive affirmation out my yin-yang to try and pretend I am not suffering or to adjust out of it. I fight what is. I fight the truth of discomfort and pain while I try to cover the Truth with a lovely balmy protective salve, rather than accept and allow it. My mind and body separate, battle for control, argue and I end up exhausted, depleted and still feeling heavy.
So the last few nights I’ve allowed my “suffering” to be my meditation. To soften and melt into it and allow the moments to be there. It is freeing! Like radically freeing. I even get a slight buzz on the inside, an elation, a joy, a meeting of sparkly truth that I can feel in the cells of my body. I embrace the darkness and healing gates that the Universe has summoned and called upon of us. It’s beautiful in its rawness.
“Suffering is a fact of life. There are four unavoidable physical sufferings; birth, old age, sickness and death. There are also three forms of mental suffering; separation from the people we love; contact with people we dislike and frustration of desires. Happiness is real and comes in many ways, but happiness does not last forever and does not stop suffering. Buddhists believe that the way to end suffering is to first accept the fact that suffering is actually a fact of life.” (Buddhist teachings (very brief) from http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/buddhism/bs-s03.html)
So on this Winter Solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere), and the darkest day of the year, I invite you into your own darkness, your own pains and wounds and simply let them be there. Melt into them for a few moments as a Sacred Witness to what is at this moment.
Where do you feel struggle in your body?
List your pains and struggles, challenges, losses of this past year of the pandemic.
Can you close your eyes, take some breaths… and just move into it, gently, softly, lovingly? See what happens.
And like wise, move into your joy and happiness as it sways in your life as well. We will all move through the tides, the highs and lows of life. May we do so consciously, lovingly and with awareness and acceptance.
Simple Solstice Ritual:
On this lovely Solstice, get out your paper and pens. Light a lovely candle or two, perhaps some incense, get yourself a cup of tea and have a divine union with yourself and Creation on paper.
Enjoy this lovely day of darkness, retreat, rest, and reflection. I honour you and your path. I honour you and your joy as well as your suffering. And I honour the light that is about to return in a new age, a new era, a new consciousness on this planet!
And so it is. Happy Winter Solstice and beginning of a new age!
If you feel called and would like to get more soul nourishing goodies, I invite you to FOLLOW THE BLOG. I’d be tinkled pink .