Monday, April 6, 2009

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional

All of us are going to experience pain. It is just part of life. Imagine that a cup of hot steaming coffee is continuously exploding. What would happen to us if we hold tightly onto that cup? We would suffer. The pain of exploding glass and steaming hot coffee would be horrific. And yet how many of us hold on tightly to whatever problem is before us?

Instead if we let go and keep our hands back just a little from the cup we experience pain but not suffering. So when our child is in a rage, if we step back and don't take it personally we are not suffering with them. If we don't get caught up into their lack of attachment but realize it is due to brain changes from their past, we don't have the suffering.
If we try to pull back to far it is not wise either. Our hands will generally go right back to the tight grip on the situation. Just far enough to experience the pain but keep ourselves from suffering more than was meant is correct.

You can also use the example of handing the cup to God as giving your pain to God. This example can work for ourselves and can work with older children. What cup are you holding on tightly too?

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