I pulled the above card three days ago. I’m pulling a card every three or four days to help me with my buddhist studies from the Tibetan Buddhist meditation deck and boy, is it making me think.
I feel it would be the ‘right’ thing for me to insert here… ‘I feel this so deeply. I wish nothing more than to be able to alleviate suffering. To reach lovingly not just to those we hear about on the news but the hidden cries that many shield from even their families. Those who are abused, mentally, physically and sexually behind closed doors. The depressed who carry on with their 9-5 as they’ve children to support and fear what they’d loose if they put their health first. The artist who hasn’t the confidence to support their creative endeavours and therefor represses expression (and believe themselves mad in the process).’
I feel like my whole heart should be invested in ‘extinguishing the pain of others’ and in the words above however, in total honesty, it isn’t.
This is not because I don’t care. I do care, I feel others pain so much so it can cripple me. I’ve done what I believed would help, like working for a charity, I’ve donated, I’ve given all the clothes I’ve ever owned to charity shops. Although I feel the pain of those around me I also know that there is absolutely nothing I can do to neutralise their suffering. I can only offer a soothing balm but it’s their choice to apply and only their skin can do the healing. I know this from my own experience. I spent many years in pain, secretly, with a smile on my face everyday but tears pouring the evening. There was absolutely nothing anyone could do. Support me, yes but to heal… that must come from the individual.
Also, there are many unintended consequences that can arise from wanting to help another. Our intensions can be drawn from a heartfelt place, yet what we see to be medicine, others may perceive as hell. When I was at my worst with anxiety, I know the actions of those close to me grew from love but often decisions they thought to be best, were in fact not. I knew what was right for me and I think as a society we want to fix others, to steer them in the direction we believe to be their healing path. Yet, each one of us has our own journey, our own speed we travel, our own differing energies to work though.
So how can I extinguish the pain of others? Yes, to be of service is a wonderful and priceless gift but can this extinguish pain, or just lighten the load?
I love this study, as I know questions drive discoveries. Discoveries that lead to new questions… oh how life is a long string of questions and this question I may need to sit with for longer. I know it has struck a cord as I felt the need to write about it. Often when things sit uncomfortably, there is a reason. What this reason is, I shall have to wait to discover.