Over the years I’ve seen people in tremendous pain and suffering. What struck me most though, was how some of them managed to keep a part of themselves free from suffering, almost as if they were above it all, and were able to still feel a joy in life.
One memory comes to mind – I knew a lady who was dying of cancer, but she’d bought her nephew a teddy bear for his birthday. She was so happy to wrap it and give it to him, and in that moment her face was transformed – beautiful and completely free of suffering.
To me this expressed perfectly the miracle of humanity – that although we can’t avoid suffering, we are able to rise above it, and in this rising above, we become truly compassionate and free human beings.
So today I was thinking about Thanksgiving, and the relationship between gratitude and suffering. For me, gratitude is one of the most powerful healing emotions.
If we are somehow able to feel gratitude for something – despite every problem in our lives, that gives us the power to stop the negative emotions that come with suffering and begin to heal – body and mind.
So I wish you all a Thanksgiving filled with gratitude, hope, love and healing.