Suffering is exacerbated by avoidance. The effort to avoid no matter how normal or natural simply doesn’t work. Even if you think you’re successful—look more closely, you will realize your not. There is the dread of the sufferings return. There is the way we carry the unacknowledged, undigested suffering in the body.
Our avoidance and attempts at false self-protection cause us to live in a small dark corner of our life. We imagine there is nothing we can do about our suffering and so we slip into a numbing paralysis.
But there is a sense of possibility and even ease that emerges when we realize that we have a capacity to bear witness …to turn toward what we have tried to avoid.
When we breathe and just let it be there. Not defending ourselves against it. Not trying to talk ourselves out of it. Not trying to figure out strategies to fix it… we allow the suffering space. Anything we give space to can move. It is free to open, to unfold, to revel its true causes. Often in allowing, we discover a point of stillness, even peacefulness—right in the middle of the suffering.
This place that I am in, the colliding of the daughter in me and the hospice professional, is really me attempting to avoid suffering. I have said tonight "I need to be on top of this to get my dad through this, then I can cry" The truth is I just don't want to feel the pain of losing my father. I don't want to suffer that experience. I think it is time to sit in meditation and be with the present even if the present is something I think I wish to avoid.