What Suffering Teaches Us

The Puzzle of Life, by teZa

There’s an old saying. Some say it’s from Zen Buddhism, others say it’s universally a spiritual teaching that applies to anyone wishing to become happier. “Only a cracked pot allows the light in.”

What does this mean?

To me, it’s clearly about accepting our impefections. In Japan that’s called wabisabi. This is a philosophy that applies to allowing irregularities for everything, starting with seeing how a small crack in a pot can be an actual embellishment—not a reason to throw it out—to accepting each of ours and everyone else’s character flaws.

For many of us on the spiritual path, we see how the suffering to which all humans are subjected as necessary in order to see how our “cracks” can be not only useful, but necessary to our growing more conscious, aware, awakened. Every single person has to go through our lessons, one by one. Additionally, these days our blended family of humankind is going through a gigantic evolutionary lesson handed out by the Covid pandemic.

What the Pandemic is Teaching Us

We’re still not out of it. Not entirely. That’s the lesson of today’s variants spreading across the globe. But we all know by now that when faced with difficulties, we have choices. We can either succumb to the pain and hardships that challenges bring—and I mean any kind, whether physical, mental, societal, financial, or … a stubbed toe, a splinter, a lost relationship—or we can choose to change, and adapt. The sooner we can change and adapt, the happier, healthier, and more fully we get to experience the best that life offers. Even in the midst of a deadly pandemic.

We’ve all had plenty of suffering this past year and a half. No one wants to invite suffering into their lives, but when it arrives, we automatically are forced to face the choices we have: of what to do about it.

Since the beginning of the pandemic I made the conscious choice to just Be with it. To not fight it. To not argue about it’s happening. To not deny its deadly, dangerous existence. Not to challenge or resist what, to me, are the wise and more informed protocols issued from Dr. Fauci and America’s CDC. I decided to up my role, increase my efforts of spreading the message of love to all I can through my writing, speaking, and arting. Each day I continue to reach out to help us unite, spiritually. To help balance the waves of trauma people feel. And even if I only touch one other person, I feel I’ve contributed to the betterment of our human dilemma exacerbated by this current Covid era.

The Fog of Forgetfulness

Yet  I’ve had to remind myself, over and over, to just Be. Especially now, with mandates lifting, masks less frequently used, and many of us gathering, at last! for meals, weddings, in-person hugs and conversations, relaxed outings, all of us renewing and needing our nurturing friendships more than ever.

This pandemic has shown me so much. I consider Covid now to be one of my influential teachers. I bet you do, too. For me, I’ve learned about patience and forbearance in ways I never got from the great spiritual teachers I’ve studied with; or gleaned from other hard lessons I’ve lived through. Yes, we learn from good and bad things. From one aha! revelation (example: being isolated brought many rewards of inner reflection and discovery) after the next on our personal journeys of awakening from the fog of forgetfulness we’re all born into.

The coronavirus challenge has shown me how to better accept adversity. How to just Be. To watch and listen, and absorb. To not resist. To protect myself with the boundless Light of protective energy available to all of us. To trust my resilience. And to stand in awe at the fortitude and courage of our global human family.

Proof We ARE a Blended Family of Humankind

The pandemic has handed me proof that I am a cell within the body of humankind’s invisible network. of human life. Covid has shown me I am a humble member of the blended family of humanity. Before Covid, I still had lingering remnants of thinking myself set apart, that I was special somehow, weird, or just different from others of my kind. But really, Covid doesn’t differentiate like that, does it? Only we can separate ourselves. Each man, woman, LGBQT, non-binary; child, tweener, or adult, whether a person feels and calls themselves different by identifiers such as gender, race, faith, or tribal alignment or not—Covid has blinders on to all that.

Listen to my new audio book Zen Love for more about the subject of what acceptance means to the spiritualization of our human species. For a variety of topics, listen to our ZLORD podcast.

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