I had been a little concerned that a recent post was too harsh, too strong, in the way it faced our suffering. I was happy to hear from people who found it helpful and usefully provocative.

A long-time reader responded to the post:

Quoting the post, she said, “We don’t lose our suffering, we recontextualize it, we understand it differently, and we can use it more consciously as a way to love and support other people.”

She continued, interesting to read this, as I recently decided that a friend’s suffering felt to me like it was battering the door of my heart and while I want to keep my heart open to her, her communications were a tangle of unclarity quickly becoming tightly knotted.  So I stepped aside.  The paradox of ocean and wave, of non-duality and duality, asks for reconciliation of our idea or wish that things be a certain way in order for us to be okay: have clear boundaries, just don’t use them to build a wall.  So I hold her in my heart and settle myself into softening and unwinding – but just because that’s what calls to me doesn’t mean it’s the best for her.  So then I just hope for her happiness to rise like the lotus out of the mud.

I guess sometimes we have to love people from a distance?  Is that even possible?  Or a cop-out?

I know in your book Love In Action you talk about sometimes having to part ways – I agree with that, and many times I have hung on longer than was wise – so that’s loving of oneself.  Which is important 🙂


Leave a Reply