Sometimes life is hard. Damn hard. Watching loved ones suffer is particularly challenging and soul destroying. It’s challenging because it can bring up all our own fears around suffering and lack and absence and helplessness; it’s soul destroying because suffering is the one thing that can make me doubt the existence of the Divine.
Many times I’ve asked myself: how can God/dess allow such woe? Such terrible suffering? Why do these things have to happen?
Then I realise I can’t know the bigger picture. If I could only step back from the jigsaw of life, I would be able to see where the missing bits are and what needs to go there, but I can’t and my job in this life is to try to get on and help wherever I can.
When I’m with psychotherapy clients I can witness their suffering and help them to find meaning and a way through it, and I know that many of you reading this do similar work – but how do you cope when it’s you or your own family who are suffering?
When it’s me, I pray, write, use affirmations, send Chi to wherever it’s needed in the body and sometimes, hell, I just grit my teeth!
But when it’s a family member as it is right now, I feel helpless. I can’t try to foist a belief system or methods that I’ve worked out through trial and error that work for me onto someone else, because it just wouldn’t help.
I’m back, staring at the jigsaw of life again.
This time, I try to cultivate the humility to accept that I can’t fix everything and that if I could, it would mean taking away someone else’s chance to grow.
Growing can look pretty painful sometimes, but I can’t know what someone else needs, only the Divine can know that. So that brings us back to the fact that there is a Divine beauty that loves us and holds us in the palm of her hand.
Hope this helps. It helps me.