So I asked him, “How do you let it go… the suffering you see when you visit people all the time?”
He said that he recognizes the inevitability of all of it. “To everything, there is a season…” including a time to die. We will all die… it’s an inevitable part of the Journey. And everybody experiences suffering at some time in life… and the vast majority of suffering is emotional (even when it’s also physical.)
Letting it go comes from being able to watch your mind – the disciplined practice of mindfulness. A hundred times a day he asks himself, “How am I doing?” to check what he is doing with his mind. Is he staying in peace and acceptance…. or wandering into resistance? Is he falling into the trap of taking on someone else’s Journey? What is mine to do?
And if he feels called, he goes out and gives them a hug and holds their hand and sits with them in acceptance of whatever state they are in and gratitude for the experience of life at whatever level it is showing up.
When he visits people, they are grateful and temporarily distracted from their suffering. So for a few moments of that day, they exist in a State of Gratitude, instead of a State of Suffering. And that’s worthwhile.
And he sleeps like a baby at night.
To everything there is a season,
a time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal …
a time to weep and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn and a time to dance …
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to lose and a time to seek;
a time to rend and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war and a time for peace.
(I wrote this in Nov. 2013. “He” was Rev. Chad O’Shea, my dear husband, who left his body on Jan 9, 2014)