by Anthousa Helena

I started finding peace through exploring my relationship with pain and suffering.  At first this was through asking why it was so hard for me to resist its pull.  Physically two hormones are released in the suffering process—one that numbs pain and one that energizes; both are part of the flight or fight response.

This process can become addictive.  The sense of being out of control can become an unconscious way to escape highly uncomfortable feelings.  I know very well how this potentially addictive process hurts ourselves and others.  I can also see that it is a process of making impersonal events personal.

I sat down and simply looked at the question; “Who is it that is suffering?”  In a few minutes, I saw the familiar woven tapestry of a narrative story immersed with conditioned concepts and emotions.  Amidst all this confusion, awareness noticed I was surrounded by an infinitely patient, compassionate, all-accepting, loving, merciful and vast expanse that was self-renewing.

I have known this Love from a distance for a long time, but I had not seen how I could be that, especially not the “me” that unconsciously personalized pain.  This time I could experientially feel that I am that Love.  Somehow, facing suffering helped me see that I am infinitely greater than it is.

So what can I learn from each bit of suffering if I go inside and sit with it?