"When we feel suffering, it doesn’t mean that something is wrong. What a relief. Finally somebody told the truth. Suffering is part of life, and we don’t have to feel it’s happening because we personally made the wrong move.
"In reality, however, when we feel suffering, we think that something is wrong. As long as we’re addicted to hope, we feel that we can tone our experience down or liven it up or change it somehow, and we continue to suffer a lot.”
I wrestle a lot with the idea of hope - or maybe it is the experience of hope.
And yet, how in the world can a person wrestle with "hope?"
It seems I was raised with this idea that longing for something more, or better, or some days simply hoping that this day would end and that tomorrow would bring some relief ... My faith journey has included Christian teachings that promote the sustainable hope of heaven, somewhere far better than the suffering we encounter, at times, on this earth. Hope has become an acceptable and seemingly effective way to pound through pain and disappointments. We fantasize of our rewards once we leave this place.
Ahhhh yes heaven ... Where there will be no challenges or pain or suffering...
Am I addicted to hope? Have I turned to hope instead of considering the larger message to be heard? Have I falsely considered, even subconsciously, that my circumstances are meant for someone, anyone else? Do I refuse to even acknowledge that "heaven" may be found in the challenge - a greater truth that will be overlooked and/or unaccepted because I think the associated pain is too much - far too much for my heart and soul to bear?
Does a 21st century faith call for such retreat?
I was asked yesterday of circumstances where I have become disheartened - and I fell in love the word because it so captured my literate mind.
Oh yes, disheartened!
And I quietly recited my list to myself, almost laughing at the sheer number of life-altering experiences of late.
Umm... SO yes! Disheartened!
So few of the challenges of life can be undone, I mean, right?? We don't have a rewind button that will take us back to the challenges of yesterday - that now seem like luxuries if we were to take time and compare! We reach the summit of this mountain and turn around to marvel at our path - only to see a range of mountains that needed to be scaled in order to get to this one.
Why can't I enjoy this amazing view? I can see things from here I have never seen before, above the tree line, where the air seems extrordinarily thin...
Instead, foolishly, I spend far too much time hoping this leg of the journey will end - that I will soon be on flat ground where I need not be concerned about my footing, or becoming lost, or falling into a deep and bottomless pit where no one will ever find me - or even know that I am gone!
Every single choice I have ever made has brought me to this moment, writing this sentence, suddenly being enheartened that I have made it this far on the journey... From this peak where I have found my heart again ... How could I hope for anything more?