Photo by Cathy Mu
There are times when we’re floating through life, forgetting the depth and gravity of our true core. Then, the ground hits your feet like an elevator shaft free-falling, landing on the ground floor. You collapse, and are faced with a harsh reality filled with concrete concepts. No longer the thoughts of possible outcomes or wondering ifs. The worst has happened and it’s here in front of you. What can you say? What can you do? In short, the answer is, nothing.
The unfortunate truth is, we will all face these kinds of tragedies one way or another. Through our own lives, or through the lives of people we care about. We will have to hold this pain on some level sometimes. Life is not easy. We are fragile beings living in these bodies and we never know what the next minute will bring. It is truly scary if we dwell on concepts of the future. And when complete catastrophe hits our lives, we are thrown into waves of suffering. In these crippling events we see the stark truth, there’s nothing else but the moment we’re in. No concepts about the future, the past is only a dream, our sense of self is gone. Through that intense suffering sometimes comes clarity. We see how irrelevant most things are. All the worry about the little things. We see that all that really matters is how we treat people, how we live each moment fully, loving everyone, seeing through egos and accepting all our differences. Through this pain we can see that truth.
There is a choice in these events. We can either surrender to the suffering so completely we lose those mind-made concepts we’ve made of ourselves, or we battle through the suffering, trying to get over it or place it into a box in our mind-made sense of self. The latter is filled with struggle and sorrow, trying aimlessly to make sense or have answers to questions that are unanswerable. In surrendering there is still great pain, there is no escaping that, but letting the pain be there without resistance, without our thoughts trying to make something of it. There is nothing to believe in, or finish line to hurdle over. Just right here and now, that’s all there ever is. Every moment bleeds into the next like film developing on photo paper. Slowly, the next scene unfolds. Everything is constantly transforming and evolving. And in this pain is a reminder to all of us to keep surrendering. It is not the only way, but it is the only way that gives meaning to the senselessness of tragedy.
I pray for all those who have suffered in this way, with great loss. I pray that the loss you’ve experienced has taken with it the fears you’ve lived with. I pray for all of us to use loss and tragedy as fuel to the fire of our consciousness, leaving this world a better place for humanity.