To death and taxes, suffering should be added to the great inevitabilities — and not just the suffering born of tragedy and injustice.
It’s a rare human who does not believe, at least at some deep level and at least some of the time, that he or she is fundamentally defective. It is what we have most in common. Yet we all strive so mightily to pretend to the contrary, that we don’t feel this way about ourselves. Maybe we need to embrace this piece of our shared humanity instead, and share it. Some cultures have.
Love this from Richard Rohr:
“All great spirituality is about what we do with our pain. So the first lesson of initiation is to teach the young man not to try to get rid of his pain until he has first learned whatever it has to teach him. By trying to handle all suffering through willpower, denial, medication, or even therapy, we have forgotten something that should be obvious: we do not handle suffering; suffering handles us in deep and mysterious ways that ironically become the very matrix of life. Suffering — and sometimes awe — has the most power to lead us into genuinely new experiences.”