Sunday 2-6-16 from the pain

“Take the mess and turn it into your message.” ~ Joel Osteen
Happy Sunday!
Last weekend a dear one of mine told us about the passing of a co-worker. This seemed an important, impactful event to her. I didn’t feel it. I didn’t feel the sadness of his loss. I thought along the spiritual lines that he is fine and still with those he is connected to. After the conversation I wondered if this lack of feeling to someone’s passing will be the way for me – so I watched.
A couple of days later, outside my cubicle at work, I overheard one co-worker say to another that he had been out of work as his mother had died. I felt an immediate need to join the conversation. I got up and expressed my sympathy for the loss to my co-worker, I’ll call him Ted. Ted has a tough personality and likes to express that he can handle anything so he wasn’t someone who was weepy in need of my empathy (at least outwardly). Still, I felt the need to join the conversation.
Ted spoke of the time he needed to stay away from work to help his father get all the household business in order, the older gentlemen needing to take on all the household business for the first time. Ted then said that the day he left his father started demo’ing his bathroom as it was the next thing on the ‘to do’ list.  Ted told his father to take it easy and not worry about the bathroom but his Dad said he was going to just keep doing what he always did.
I felt concern for Ted’s father at hearing this. I thought that this will hit him hard when he finishes the bathroom project and his wife is not there to praise it or use it.  Ted’s Dad won’t feel an appreciation for his efforts and that may really bring the feeling of grief on.
I went back to work after this. I did feel a bit of relieve about myself that I felt empathy for Ted’s loss and more so for his father if the feeling of loss comes as I imagined it could.
Yesterday I watched a video on Youtube of Sadhguru. A student asked him about grief of the loss of a loved one. There were several lessons for me in Sadhguru’s response.
He began saying how when a person or household is in mourning that everyone pays respect and is sweet to those in grief; everyone except the spiritual person. He said the criminal will avoid the house in mourning but the spiritual person will not keep their mouth closed.
I think he was saying that we want to tell the person who experienced the loss that their loved one is well, better than ever, and still with them. And, that things happen for a reason, that good will come from the loss.
I’m one of those spiritual people. My first thoughts are to say those things. I am writing about this so I will remember Sadhguru’s words although I don’t understand just now why not?
rumi pain
In the video Sadhguru explained what grief is.  He said it is the hole, the loss of something felt by the person grieving. He said loss of a loved one is no different than the loss of an important thing, they feel the same. He asked ‘does the child not feel grief for the loss of a teddy bear?’
Grief is about what we feel for ourselves – our loss and fear of the changes that are coming to our lives because of the death.
Sadhguru said our feelings for our departed loved one is actually great love; this is because all that can remain between the two of us is the connection of love.  With the loss of the physical in the other all the bothersome physical things between us drop away.
Yesterday Peter and I had a small blow up after a nice day of working together on a project. On my part I think I was tired and hungry so I let my words say stuff to trigger him. I took an hour long time-out afterward to get back to peace. My mind kept spinning along trying to resolve if I was wrong or right – if I was justified in my actions due to his actions. I eventually pulled myself out of my mind and could appreciate what Sadhguru had said.
It didn’t really matter what Peter said, or I said, or he did, or I did. It was all nonsense. I love him therefore everything else is unimportant stuff getting between us. I felt the Love. I liked the experience of realizing there is this physical stuff between us and I can just sweep it aside. Why wait for death to release the unimportant stuff between us?
This morning Joel spoke about accepting the pain as a bigger piece of the puzzle of our lives. He said that God made the pain piece to fit in perfectly to build the picture of our lives.
As I wrote the portion above about spiritual people not being respectful of those in mourning I didn’t understand why Sadhguru advised the way he did. Here is the ‘A-ha!’ The answer came as Joel’s sermon blended in my mind with the lessons from Sadhguru.
We need to respect grief and pain in others. It is their puzzle piece of pain that they need to feel. I know that pain opens up the heart. Pain brings us to Faith. Pain calls us to action. It is not until we have gone through pain that we can say to someone else who is hurting “me too!”. I’ve felt that – I’ve experienced that.
Pain teaches us compassion.
And, I laugh as I see another connection this morning, the morning message from Hazrat Khan adds more.
“For instance a man may say, ‘I have never thought about anyone who has done me any good, and I have never considered any harm that has ever come to me from anyone; I have always had just that one idea before me and after that idea I kept going’. He may be advanced, he may be spiritual, he may be pious, and yet he has missed a great deal. But the one who has received all the good that has come to him with grateful thanks and felt it, and who has also felt the harm done to him and forgiven and pardoned it, he is the one who has seen the world and is going beyond with success.” ~ Hazrat Inayat Khan, Bowl of Saki 2-16-16
Each of us must experience our own good and bad times to be able to grow and come into wisdom.
The title for today’s ‘bowl of saki’ said:
“The wise man, by studying nature, enters into unity through its variety, and realizes the personality of God by sacrificing his own.”
When I first read this I thought, “Oh, I need to appreciate nature, the forest, the Sun, the Earth, get outdoors.” Silly me! Hazrat Khan’s meaning of the word nature is the manifested world of duality (spiritual jargon for good-bad, dark-light, love-fear).
I get it! Not only is it disrespectful to fill the grieving person up with our spiritual perspective of well-being but it does not serve them. Each person must take the journey on their own.
Pain is the catalyst to so much.
Our personal pain teaches us compassion. It teaches us gratitude as we learn the bad so we can more appreciate the good. It brings the big questions that put us on the path of the seeker.
I look back on my life and see how blind and stupid I was. I wonder why it could not have been different. I needed the pain, it served me. The pain of grief made me appreciate more the people in my life. It brought my attention to what they may be trying to tell me. It caused me to ask the big questions and become a seeker.
Each person must make the choice to seek for themselves. As a spiritually aware person I may have messages to share but I must remember to be respectful of the other person’s journey and not intrude. My message must wait until the time I may be asked to share my wisdom. At that time I will be doing God’s work in the world.
In His time, not mine.

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