“Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional”
At some point in our lives, we get served what we didn’t order. How we connect and react is the only thing that's in our hands. Let me share with you a story.
My uncle has recently diagnosed with ALS a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the body. The disease began in the tongue so he can no longer speak or eat and this is only the beginning of a long journey.
This man is more than words could ever describe he is a sculptor, artist, family man, world traveler and somebody I personally admire. On Friday I sat next to him, he has an iPad and writes short notes. I was about to fall apart, I could barely hold my tears. That night I didn't sleep thinking what I could do, how could I alleviate the pain that they are going through and suddenly it hit me.
I could do nothing and that is one of the most frustrating feelings. When we have nothing to do or give to the people we love. It feels as if we are given a plate full of shit when we ordered the fillet mignon and our reaction is to say- FUCK No! Why me? why him? This isn't fair! How can I fix this?!? Tell me what to do!! NO! NO! NO!
And the angrier we get, as the frustration raises and we push the sadness away. The deeper we dive our head into the shit and we can stay there even get used to the smell, feeling sorry for ourselves for others, swimming in a sea of despair. Living our lives trying to change the situation which is by definition suffering.
We can get our head out of the shit. Creating space for the sadness as well as the joys, for the filet mignons we ate, for the family we created, the words we spoke, the kisses and laughter, not hanging on to memories but seeing our life as a mural.
We can become more compassionate for the pain of others, without feeling sorry for them. We can understand “oneness” by letting go of our arrogance and self-absorption.
Life has changed. No, this is not what we asked for but let's get over that part. So we can rejoice in the little things, we can appreciate life in a different way, find comfort in the simplicity, in the love that surrounds us. We can turn it around, we can use this shit as fertilizer to grow in new ways.