Where did I leave off . . . ah, yes . . .love and pain. Periodically over the last few weeks I've paused to reflect on the ending of my last post and the sense that I've repeatedly come to is that love is the way forward and pain is something you encounter along the way. No need to be dramatic about it or try to deny it. It's best to simply accept that you will experience pain and face it squarely when you do. Different traditions and schools of thought prefer, and argue strongly for, certain other terms for what I'm calling pain. I opt for the word pain for two reasons, first, because it's bodily and second, because it's simple. Suffering seems elevated and it already belongs to the Buddhists. I've noticed some people preach embracing pain, as in the old catch phrase which never seems to go out of style from the Jane Fonda aerobic videos, "no pain no gain." I'm urging something more neutral. No need to hug it or push it away. Pain is a whisper you should attend to because if you don't it's going to be a scream.
Love, for me, is not only the way forward, but it is the totality of the surrounding environment. Love is the expanse of the sky while pain, along with other things, is the clouds.
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