Suffering to Become a Better Person?


It took several days of turning my life upside down to rearrange my office and get all of my clothes and boxes of miscellaneous junk cleared out.  The turmoil was hard psychologically but I forced myself to do it.  Now the mess is redistributed in drawers and boxes in my bedroom, but my office is pristine and I can work on real desks instead of clearing space on the floor in which to sit and do my paperwork.  This morning I have the door closed, and I can hear Pup scratching it, having a hissy fit because I denied him access to me.

I realized yesterday that this morning coffee period is where I get all of my blogging done.  As dry and somewhat uninteresting as my blog is, I find that there’s something huge in my act of writing in it.  It means that I did something that day that reached out to the world and said “I’m alive”.  It wasn’t reaching out to an imaginary friend such as my friend Krishna, and it wasn’t reaching out into an invisible world as I do when I meditate.  That’s why I post to my blog even if what I have to say is selfish and not pretty and not literary.  It’s the act of posting it that is deeply symbolic <she says through furious dog scratching and whining>.

The bill paying and financial and legal duties and family hassles I have are important, but jobs that have been forced on me.  As much as I hate doing them, and as unbelievably stressful as it is to have to deal with them as well as live with chronic pain, they’re a fundamental part of the Buddhist philosophy that suffering is a part of life.

I’m sure that if I didn’t have suffering in my life, I’d be dead.  If life were so perfect there would be no reason to run or to do yoga or meditate or pray, and perhaps no burden on my mind with which it can push back on in order to find inspiration.  It’s a strange thought, to “need” suffering in order to become a better person, and I loathe to thank my suffering.  But intellectually I know that this statement is true.  Well, no, I don’t know it to be true.  It’s somewhat bizarre to need suffering.  I can’t explain it.

And now I will get up for another cup of coffee, and so my doggy will get his reward for scratching the hell out of my office door and having a doggy hissy fit.

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Suffering to Become a Better Person?

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