Suffering is teaching me another lesson. I must admit that I am not exactly thrilled by its intrusion in my life again. I had believed that I had learned its lessons well, but have come to realize that suffering is not a subject that one masters. Instead, one is ever-learning and ever-growing in its graces.
I find that the more I resist suffering, the tighter its grip becomes. But if I lean into it and begin to embrace what it is endeavoring to teach me, that it loosens its hold on me for a while and I am able to breathe again. At present, because of the depths of suffering I am experiencing, those breaths are a bit shallow…but I am beginning to breathe easier.
On the one hand, suffering is an intruder. It comes unbidden into one’s life at inopportune times and oftentimes leaves one fatigued and confused by its intrusion. On the other hand, suffering is also a gentle teacher that will not force its lessons upon the unwilling heart until it is bidden to do so. I am both a willing and unwilling participant in this newest class experience. I am weakened and strengthened by the seemingly constant resistance-giving in process that I am going through. I want this lesson to be over. Yet, I am intrigued by what is happening in my inner man as I resolve to grapple with and overcome suffering once and for all.
One of the hardest things to do when one is suffefring is to take one’s gaze away from the suffering itself. But it is when we are able do just that that the true meaning of suffering begins to take on a whole new meaninging itself. It is then that the “gentle teacher” comes forth to whisper its latest lesson and we are able to advance to a higher plane of existence. And on that plane is rest. Rest for the mind and spirit.
Suffering is stretching me. The unwilling participant in me is engaged in a dance of struggle against this force that seems bent on twisting me into an unrecognizable shape. But the willing student is also present at this lesson and knows that soon, very soon, I will be able to appreciate this experience and will have something more to add to my tools of life. Suffering is a tool maker and a soul shaker. It is shaking me and making me a better me than I used to be.
I will be so glad when this lesson is over. More stretching. Breathe, Cassie, breathe.