From Rachel Remen, My Grandfather’s Blessings:
“We avoid suffering only at the great cost of distancing ourselves from life. In order to live fully we may need to look deeply and respectfully at our own suffering and at the suffering of others. In the depths of every wound we have survived is the strength we need to live. The wisdom our wounds can offer is a place of refuge. Finding this is not for the faint of heart. But then, neither is life.”
This of course, seems to defy the human inclination. No one wants to see the photos of emaciated children with saucer-sized eyes gazing at us as we listen (or don’t) to the requests for donations. I don’t like driving by the homeless center on my way home and being reminded of the suffering of those spilling out of the facilities provided.
Oh, I can change the channel on the TV or take another route home, but the suffering is there nonetheless. The stark reality is that we can never hide from suffering – it is just part of life. While the type, degree, and frequencies vary, suffering is a part of all lives. The question, as Remen points out, is what we do with and about the suffering. And to repeat her words: “Finding this is not for the faint of heart. But then, neither is life.”