by Robert Wilkinson
I was recently asked by a client to explain what I meant by the title statement. I explained what it means to all of us, and why we really cannot take suffering personally, or even hold on to things that were difficult in our past or could be difficult in our future. If you’re interested, read on.
As I wrote them (with a few edits and additions to elaborate on some concepts):
Don't take suffering personally. We have all suffered at some point from a variety of sources and causes. It teaches us detachment, compassion, discrimination, and how to choose a better way for our minds and hearts in the moment, steering our focus away from our suffering into a greater love and compassion for ourselves and all our loved ones.
When I state "ALL situations are temporary in an impermanent reality" I mean that is the universal state of affairs for ALL of us. All things are temporary because time moves on, our experience moves on, our perceptions move on, our relationships move on, our feelings move on, and life moves on. Nothing is permanent except the eternal flow of awareness in the moment. That's why, as we move through temporary situations in this ever-changing reality, it's good to just BE in the NOW.
Living in the present prevents the thieves of the past and future from stealing our present. Getting lost in past suffering only brings the experiences of it forward as we struggle with our suffering. Getting lost in future potential suffering only fixes that picture in our subconsciousness, which we should not do. Many things never materialize, and even when they do, we only have the power to control our own experience of that which we face, and what actions, feelings, and thoughts we choose to express.
Even when life shows us some things we don't want to face, we always have the power to respond as we choose. And the only sane response is to take the high road, whatever that means at the time. This is about learning to love ourselves and our life to overcome any clinging to suffering. That's why staying in the NOW is the only way to live if you want to find peace.
We can only love right here and now. We can only be wise right here and right now. We can only be as we are, right here and right now, while striving to be the best we can, whether in "good times" or "bad times." We ALL have both throughout our lives, since we are attached to pleasure while trying to avoid the pain of life in this impermanent reality.
All things change. We get attached to things and people and ideas about ourselves and loved ones and work and play and children and siblings and public opinion and the other 10,000 distractions. At some point we or they or it moves on.
As our life moves forward, our own views move on as we choose which ones to modify and which ones to cling to. How much we suffer from changing conditions depends entirely on our point of view, and whether we’re willing to move forward as the loving Eternals that we are rather than stay lost in memories or apprehensions. Stay focused on experiencing yourself as the love you always are, and many things will fulfill themselves perfectly.
At this point, I mentioned the masterwork “Through the Gates of Gold” linked near the bottom of the links at the lower left side of this site. It explains some spiritual realities that all of us move through connected to pleasure and pain and the search for fulfillment in life. It's a pretty easy read, and can help clear up why we're here on Earth and how we can get beyond the emotions and ideas that don't help us. Please check it out.
© Copyright 2012 Robert Wilkinson