Managing Chaos

>    The last question posed and answered last night in Austin, Texas by the Democratic contenders was for them to share how they had handled the most significant “crisis” of their lives. Hilary Clinton seemed to strike a cord when she explained that while she had clearly experienced many crises in her life, some quite public, these paled in comparison with the “suffering” that ordinary Americans routinely experience in their lives. As example, she cited a Veteran’s rehabilitation center in California. There, she said, she witnessed the filing in of single and double amputees, wheelchair bound and even gurney bound soldiers who were determined to hear she and Senator John McCain speak at a dedication.
    I think the cord Senator Clinton’s answer struck was that, in Life, there are no exceptions from suffering. Neither the rich nor the famous nor the powerful are able to escape the most fundamental characteristic of growth.
    Nor should we.
    I have a friend who likes to say,”No pain. No gain.” However, she always follows that up with,”To heal you have to feel.” She’s right. It’s the feeling part that we so often try to circumvent on our way to inner peace and it’s the absolutely unavoidable reality of Life.
    There is a difference between acknowledging suffering and wallowing in it. Each of us has a unique set of challenges in our lives and in order to move beyond them it is vital that we allow ourselves to feel the feelings that will necessarily accompany them. Acknowledging and experiencing the pain of growth can be a temporary challenge or it can be a state of mind we never move beyond. Like everything else in life, the choice is ours.
    I have often said that everyone’s suffering is the greatest because it’s theirs. And because that’s so, in a sense we are all equally challenged to learn this lesson.
    I do not speak in a vacuum or without empathy.
    I married at age 41 and, as a former divorce lawyer, thought it was a wise choice that would last this lifetime. Now, with a 14-year-old daughter, we are divorcing. I believe myself to be a mystic forever on the road to spiritual growth. Divorce certainly challenges that belief. Some days I am more gracious and spiritual than others to my soon-to-be ex-husband as we continue to live in the same house through this wrenching time. The challenge is to simultaneously feel the suffering associated with this loss while at the same time see the beauty of his Soul and what we have gifted each other on our individual journeys toward growth. Anyone who has ever been through a divorce knows the pain of which I speak and the magnitude of what I propose.
    Each day affords me the opportunity to either wallow in the suffering or transcend it by feeling the pain and then allowing myself to move beyond it. Every time I do just that, feel and allow movement, I experience a kind of peace and feel a kind of love that is new and wonderful.
    This new feeling holds the promise of healing.
    We are living through difficult times in almost every sector of our lives. It is a time of transition. There seems to be little relief from the pressures that accompany our transit. There was a time when I would have said,”I wish I knew the answer to relieve your suffering.” 
    What I will say today is that while I empathize with your suffering I would not want to relieve it but rather hope that you learn how to move through it, fully conscious.
    “To heal you have to feel.”
    I’m lucky to have such a wise friend.

P.S. Remember to click here to download my FREE e-book “TOO MANY SECRETS”

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