I am re-reading “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson. I read it almost 20 years ago and it changed my life! Years went by, at times living life unconsciously, forgetting that in order to maintain my connection with SELF, my connection to the Divine or All That Is, I have to consciously work at it.
Marianne says, “When someone has behaved unlovingly – when they yell at us, or lie about us, or steal from us – they have lost touch with their essence. They have forgotten who they are. But everything that someone does, says the Course (she is referring to The Course in Miracles), is either ‘love or a call for love’.
This resonated with me. This is ME! This is my family, the people who I love. I have behaved in ways I wish I had not. But that action, that CRY for love, not love from someone outside of myself but for that love INSIDE, was my awakening. The negative behavior from others was a cry for love. Now the awakening didn’t happen overnight… but it comes around. Right now, the awakening for me has come at a price of loss. It is a struggle with my ego on a daily, no minute by minute basis to choose love and not fear. To forgive others for wrongful behavior instead of condemning them. To forgive myself. Back to Marianne’s words: “When we are shaking a finger at someone, figuratively or literally, we are not more apt to correct their wrongful behavior. Treating someone with compassion and forgiveness is much more likely to elicit a healed response.”
I choose LOVE. I choose to forgive. I choose to BE the change.
I imagine that this is what Essence/Love looks like.
Photo by: Carrie Garcia- 7/4/13 Circle Pines, MN
“Expecting is the greatest impediment to living. In anticipation of tomorrow, it loses today.”
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
How many times have I anticipated suffering, or created suffering before it happens thus PRE-suffering? Oh…many! I can get myself so wound up over stuff that hasn’t even happened yet thus ruining the present moment…huh, I am not even in the present when I am PRE-suffering, I am somewhere in the non-existent future that I have created in my head!!
I heard someone use this term last night and WOW…it just resonated through my whole being. “PRE-SUFFERING”. This is definitely something I can try and let go of. But how?
This is present moment and breath work. For me, meditation and yoga help with this. Focusing my mind on my breath during yoga, the movement from one posture to the next that aligns with my breath keeps me right there. It keeps me from thinking about thinking or thinking about the things that haven’t even happened yet. I enjoy Vinyasa yoga because it is a yoga practice that allows me to move. One breath to one movement- it seems very natural to me.
Sitting meditation also helps me to remain sane and in the moment but honestly is more difficult for me because I am sitting and not moving. Thoughts come into my head on a regular basis even though I have been meditating for twenty years. The process of letting them go and focusing on my breath is more automatic than it used to be but it is still a work in process.
The most difficult thing for me is getting myself un-stuck and out of the PRE-suffering black hole that once I am there is like space…never ending. I like that I can put a name to it now. It will help me to more easily identify this thinking. It lends me perspective which then guides me through the five other “P’s”- pain, prayer, patience, process and payoff. These are from the book, Paths to Recovery. John Maxwell also has a similar idea that I have spoken about before in his book Today Matters. I recommend both.
Just for today, start to notice your pre-suffering. Are you experiencing pain or anguish about something that hasn’t even happened yet? Are you anticipating bad things happening to you? Take a moment and breathe, connect to your source, go for a walk, do yoga, do what works to bring peace around you. I know you can!