Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Keep your suffering to yourself

I listened to an interview done with Caroline Myss yesterday. She is a spiritual teacher, educator and medical intuitive/healer. I just found out about her this last weekend. The following are the notes I took from an exclusive interview with an LA radio talk-show host. Her thoughts were very helpful to me so I thought I'd paraphrase them and put them out there. If you like her ideas you can find more at

"It's in the putting off of what you need to do for yourself that you start becoming energetically congested. That leads to building up a sense of self-hatred. And then we take that out on others.
Why does your bad childhood or your bad day give you permission to take it out on anyone else? Why should your bad day at work entitle you to come home and scream at someone who had nothing to do with that.
"Keep your suffering to yourself. It has nothing to do with anybody else." (note this does not mean deny your suffering-- it means deal with it without taking it out on others)

Find a way to let that go through your soul. In society today, it is a commonly held belief that "If I've suffered I'm entitled to something." And really we are not.

In any given moment you are choosing to live with grace and love-- or not. That looks like understanding. "God give me the fortitude to reach with the highest potential of my heart."

Love has many faces. We either come from this place or we don't.
Our greatest pain is not what others have done to us but what we want to do to others who have hurt us. The true suffering is not that they have hurt us, but that we are sitting around trying to figure out how to hurt them without even realizing it.

My favorite concept was that of Graces and their shadow sides. One of the graces is piety or humility (Pietas in traditional Latin usage expressed a complex, highly valued Roman virtue; a man with pietas respected his responsibilities to other people, gods and entities (such as the state), and understood his place in society with respect to others). The shadow side of piety is avarice (or greed). Avarice literally means to crave--excessive or insatiable desire. Greed can be seen not just in terms of money or wealth but in wanting recognition, attention etc... We can be greedy about wanting what we want --whatever it might be--and withholding from others --(even in tiny ways such as refusing to say good morning or withholding a compliment). None of us are all one or all the other. We are both.

In my own life, today I am looking at ways that I am greedy. One for sure is in the need for attention. I have always felt like I just could not get enough. I am not judging myself for this. Nor am I blaming my parents or my childhood. I think I understand why I have been this way. The truth though, at this point is that it does not matter to me anymore how I came to be this way. What matters is that I can look at it now, without hating myself for it. I can look at it with my eyes wide open- almost standing outside myself as an observer. And if I am brave enough to see it, I can now work on letting that need go. I can begin to see how it plays out in my relationships with others and how it has caused me to begrudge, overshadow or withhold from others-- or feel unsatisfied if I was not getting enough attention. It's time to cultivate the grace-- piet, and to begin to let go of the shadow. The shadow which says that I can't get enough attention, and that if others are getting it, there is not enough for me.

I am now willing to pay attention to myself. To give myself what I need. To listen to my body and my spirit and feed it. I am ready to give more genuine attention to others instead of being so focused on myself. There is enough. We are all connected. There is no competition in the spiritual realm.

Thanks for exploring this deeply vulnerable self-awareness with me.

And I promised to share one of my dreams. I want to learn to paint. I don't know if I can do it. I am scared. I think it has to be perfect or I don't even want to try. But I am going to try anyway.
I will tell you more about how I discovered this dream and about what it really means in my life right now tomorrow.

1 comment:

ecuakim said...

I know what you mean about painting. But guess what? I did it! I went out and got a set of watercolors that came with an instruction book, paper, and brushes, and Clark and I went to town. I decided to start small and make something that I couldn't wreck, so I painted heart cards for Valentine's Day. I even sent one to Bonnie. I've tried 3 paintings, 2 I like okay and 1 that I hate with all my soul. But you know what? I conquered my fear of not doing it perfectly. I have faced the fact that I am a beginner, and beginners usually suck at what they do. But it's a START. Just jump in. I found my set at Marshall's for $16. So, the investment isn't huge. It's the emotional paralyzing fear that is the problem. You are bigger than your fear. Just DO IT!