Overcome any bitterness that may have come because you were not up to the magnitude of the pain that was entrusted to you.
Like the mother of the world who carries the pain of the world in her heart,
Each one of us is part of her heart, and therefore endowed with a certain measure of suffering.
With acceptance we can hold ourselves and our suffering, with tenderness and compassion. We can hold this suffering that has been entrusted to us and allow compassion to grow. We can extend that compassion to every being and to our mother of the world.
“When the path is blocked, back up and see more of the way. We are each a mountain for the other to climb, and often our path to love is interrupted by a mishap or a problem or something unexpected that needs attending. We tend to call these unexpected things in life “obstacles.” Often the thing in the way comes from another person: a stubbornness falls like a tree blocking where we want to go, or a sadness comes like a flash flood to muddy the road between us, or just as we go to rest in the clearing we have prepared, we are bitten by something hiding in the undergrowth. Thus, in daily ways, we have this constant choice: to see each other as the stubborn, muddy, biting thing that blocks our way, or to back up and take in the whole person as we would a mountain in its entirety, dizzy when looking up into its majesty. When we are blocked in our closeness with another, we have this constant opportunity: to raise our eyes and behold each other completely, then to kneel and lift the fallen tree, or cross the flooded path, or pluck and toss the biting thing. We have the chance to keep climbing, so we might cup the water that runs from each other, so we might quench our thirst as from a mountain stream, knowing that love like water comes softly through the hardest places.”
― By Mark Nepo The Book of Awakening: Having the Life you want by Being Present to the life you have
Many people struggle on a daily basis to fit in and belong. The struggles, and consequences of these struggles manifest differently, and the truth is in order to have peace in the world we have to continue to explore what is truly meaningful personally.
To feel like we truly belong we have to have courage to be ourselves and realize that sometimes it means we can’t please others or that we won’t belong to a specific group. This will no doubt cause pain and suffering and require courage, vulnerability and resilience. However, when we try to fit in and go against our grain, we also suffer.The more we face the fears we have of being our true self,imperfections and all, we find that being ourselves can be our biggest gift to the world.
Our inherent goodness and worthiness is waiting to be uncovered at all times.
The theme for this year is fitness for mind and body. Wellbeing includes emotional, mental, physical and spiritual wellness. All of those to varying degrees influence our daily life.
It is estimated that 1 in 5 Americans is affected by mental illness. That means it is highly likely we know someone who has a mental illness. Alongside with having a mental illness, there is still stigma attached to mental health issues, making it all the more challenging for people to get help.
During the month of May, National Association of Mental Illness is focusing on Compassion, Empathy, and Understanding as ways to reduce and remove stigma attached to seeking help for mental illness.
Stigma, adds to the suffering a person is experiencing with mental illness. We have the capacity to understand and alleviate their suffering. We liberate others when we allow them to speak of their perceptions and mental constructs without fear of judgement. Compassion is the urge to alleviate another person’s suffering. When we experience compassion, we also feel uplifted. Reducing stigma to mental illness is important. Having empathy, understanding and compassion is crucial to personal and global wellbeing.
Below is a link to an interview with Thich Nhat Hahn on compassion that I hope you will watch and find thought provoking
This lilac tree was once struggling to bloom and thrive. We moved it from a shaded part of the garden to a sunnier location. We gave it some rich nourishing soil and have continued to add soil through the years. The tree has bloomed like clockwork by the 2nd week of May every year. Last year a wren built a nest in the tree and we had the joy of seeing fledglings emerge and fly. A once fragile tree is now a shelter for other beings.
It’s not just plants that don’t thrive in some areas but do well in others. Happens to all living beings. Conditions need to be consistently evaluated. Where some beings do well, others might require help, further nourishing and enrichment. Not always easy to uproot and move but one can always ammend the situation, balance out the environment and find ways to grow.
We can make ourselves miserable or we can make ourselves strong. The amount of effort is the same – Pema Chodron