"All pain to all creatures is felt immediately and bodily by God: one does not suffer alone."
Life is full of painful experiences, and it is easy for us to constrict around our sufferings, leading to a leaden and oppressive sense of tightness and claustrophobia. However, we can find a degree of relief by beginning to identify ourselves more and more with a reality that is tranquil and unchanging. Such a reality is the vast and spacious lake of divine Awareness that lies at the root of our being. It is this vastness that underlies all of the experiences of life, both joyful and challenging.
In this lake, we begin to see that our sufferings are actually a participation in the sufferings of Another - of the Great Mystery (God) and of our Mother Earth (the Goddess). To speak mythically, it is as though our experience of suffering comes from the fact that Our Divine Beloved is undergoing intense pain and is "grasping" on to us as a patient does with a loved one sitting nearby while he or she is undergoing a painful medical procedure.
When we stop identifying with our suffering and instead have a RELATIONSHIP with it - as though it actually belongs to Another who dwells and suffers within us - we begin to open up some much-needed space in which we can finally breathe and gain a deeper and broader perspective.
Photo: Reflection of Bellvue Dome in Watson Lake, Bellvue, CO, February 16, 2016
For Spiritual Direction or Workshops, please visit: http://www.resourcesforspiritualgrowth.com/
Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.