Holding Suffering
In The Heart Of Compassion

By Julie of Light Omega

The question of suffering perplexes the human heart. How can we feel light and God and hold suffering at the same time? How can we hold it and not blame God? Or hold it and not sink into depression, despair, or anger?

There is a way, the way of non-exclusion, the way of love.

Non-exclusion is the path of truth. It asks us to look boldly at what is, both within us and within the world. It says that expanding wholeness and healing can only take place in the presence of honesty. It also asks us to not turn away from others because our awareness of their pain may bring us pain. It asks us to join with them and to find the means within ourselves to hold their pain in and with God as part of the Oneness.

The way of non-exclusion is the way of honesty. It is the way of abandoning denial, avoidance, withdrawal, rejection, and blame in favor of love.

Love that is held in God allows us to wrap pain in compassion. It allows us to cushion our response to it so that the primary response is openness and not rejection. A heart that is full of love can hold suffering. Instead of being submerged in the crying of others or of oneself, it is upheld by the inner assurances of love that there is nothing that cannot be borne where love is present. This must be true not only of one's own love but of God's love as well. For pain always meets the question of "How can this be?" and "Why is this happening?" This is especially true when it is severe. Though there is often no answer to this question, in the presence of not-knowing one must trust the purposes of Divine love. One must also trust the capacity of one's own heart. Such trust cannot be fashioned out of the Will. It must exist as an experience of Divine presence and Divine goodness that comes through the deepening of one's inner connection with the Source of life.

Love, both human and Divine, can hold pain in one of the many rooms of the heart. It does not drown in it because in each of the other rooms there is a source of light and of hope that uplifts the pain and allows it to just be. Where this is not true, then pain can become all-consuming. It can seem endless and impenetrable. It can feel like all that is.

This must be the goal, then - to feel both the pain and the light around it. In the presence of this light we are enabled to stand with others and to not leave them because it hurts too much. We are also emboldened to not leave a part of ourselves because that part hurts too much and we desire to seal it off from awareness. This common response to pain can be replaced by an openness to it, a willingness to hold it tenderly, a desire to embrace it with compassion. When these inner attitudes are in place, we are supported from within through the power of light and love to remain with whatever painful circumstance exists, holding it in the Oneness until it dissolves in the light.

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