GraceNotes: Holding the Space for … Reflection

#113 — September 1, 2021

One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life: that word is love.

— Sophocles

Greetings, Inspired Seekers:

When will the suffering end? This is a question we often ask of our friends, ourselves and our God – however we define that concept. And there is a lot of suffering, of that we can all agree.

The Buddhist tradition, and most of life, reminds us that suffering is an inevitable constant. However, the way in which we respond to that suffering is completely up to us; it is our choice. Whether we are in the middle of a storm such as Ida or watching it unfold, we respond.

In both my spiritual and my corporate work I have advocated for always using both our heads and our hearts in order to allow our hands to do the necessary work. It seems to me that both are needed in our response to suffering as well.

When we use good thinking, we gain perspective, acknowledge the pain and can approach it with humility and acceptance. At times, we even manage to discover a bit of humor amidst the tears. Our hearts open us up and direct our responses to suffering with generosity, compassion and, when necessary, forgiveness. It is our heart, intertwined with our thought, that creates a construct of gratitude for the whole.

A humble spirit, offered with an abundance of compassion, is a response to suffering that has the capacity to lighten our burden and the burdens of others. There is perhaps no greater gift in the midst of deep sorrow or in the midst of another wave of a pandemic. And that gift, recognized by all of the faith traditions, brings a deep inner peace, if not joy.

May we find the path to joy through compassion in a world seemingly overcome with suffering. This I pray for us all.

Grace, Fully Yours,
Reverend Deborah

Monthly Affirmation: My response to suffering is completely my choice.

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