What’s the point of suffering?

What a gift Helen Keller has been to the world. As a kid, learning about her made me realize that people are capable of amazing and beautiful things.

What Helen says in this clip brought tears to my eyes. I do believe that this is the point of all suffering — deeper understanding of and connection with each other, and the emergence of our greater capacities that we discover only as a result of our suffering.

Seeing the “bad things” that happen in the world through this lens helps me to feel empowered rather than overwhelmed.  It is a practice that I have had to cultivate and continue to work on, because I am very sensitive and tend to take on the feelings of others.

And this is the focus of my latest meditation on the Presence and Prose YouTube channel :

This is a guided practice for releasing emotions that are stuck or not being processed because feeling them is being avoided.  (In Grace in the Muck, we looked at the work of Dr. Candace Pert, whose research suggested that repressing emotions creates a blockage of neuropeptide signals, and that this insufficient flow creates weakened conditions that can lead to illness. )

But through the process of “zooming in,” we find that, with a little attention and understanding, our challenging thoughts and feelings can move through us, and the body responds with a sense of healing and release.

The practice addresses that we can’t control what other people do or say, but we have so much power within ourselves to choose how we respond to life’s events.  We can meet our thoughts and feelings fully, with wisdom and understanding.  We can release what does not serve our greater purpose, and bring harmony to the body and mind.

Understanding that life’s challenges are gateways to discovering our genius and our deepening capacity to love empowers us to live with courage and compassion.

The photo, by the way, was a spiderweb  I found one morning, cradling droplets of rain water.  See the beauty that zooming in can reveal? 🙂