Pain is real, Suffering . . . Optional

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Having a sister helped me to realize early on that I was not the center of my parents universe. I was at times jealous of her and thought she was the center of their universe, she was younger, smaller, cuter, skinnier, blond, she played indoors, etc. I still know she is my Pop’s favorite. I’m cool with that.

    I never felt like I was the center of attention. When I learned in school that people thought the earth was the center of the universe and later discovered that it was the sun. I thought, cool, move on. So much attachment was there, denying someone of their religious beliefs, their value in self, so much suffering. Eventually people changed, science 1 : Catholic Church (created by man) 0. The sun became the center of the universe, until they discovered that there were many galaxies and ours isn’t even close to the center of our solar system.  

    Suffering is optional. Attachment to thoughts, allowing them to become our identity, consuming, creates so much suffering.

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    I was in a relationship with a beautiful woman who became the center of my world. Love revolved around her, thoughts of her, and for months after she left me my thoughts were still consumed by her. Her bold laughter, and fortitude, her well-being, the smell of her hair after practice, the way she held my arm. I was attached to the way I felt about myself with her. I was in love with our world, and the future we were creating together. I wished for her to recognize love without limitations she chose to place upon herself.

    The suffering after my heart was broken consumed my thoughts, I became the suffering. Pain was real. Allowing these thoughts to consume me created more suffering. A suffering I had never experienced. Nor do I wish upon anyone, nor do I wish to experience again.

    (I’ve been in love 3 or 4 times now, so I doubt I will try that again.)

    I became the center of my universe. I couldn’t see past my nose. I was consumed in my own suffering, I was unable to reach out and ask for help. I was unaware of the extended hands that were already helping me along. I was unaware.

    After the initial shock, the wound and suffering were exposed, healing. I’m sure the religious zealots of the 16th century with 2000 years of fixed belief know what I’m talking about. The 6 stages of grief; Shock, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. The suffering endured. Maybe 10 year old Morgan could have said, ‘Cool, move on.’ Not as easy these days, muscles hold attachment, digestive system purges feelings, mind creates suffering. Love.

    My sister is still my Pop’s favorite. It brings me happiness to say that now. I know she will smile reading it. My sister is amazing. Because she is the center, I get to run around and play, fuck up, play more, and thrive. She gets to be the light, and in the light. My parents love me for me, for not being the center of the universe.

And thank GOD!!! That sure seems like a lot of responsibility I’m not wanting to take on in our wild family dynamics, Good Luck Kid!

After the suffering, and the attachment, I choose me. I choose to show up for me and enjoy the sunshine. The sun shows up each morning no matter how pissed at the moon it is. Some days it is eager to show up, some days it takes it’s sweet time like those cold Chicago winters. Chicago winters are tolerable because of the amazing Chicago summers. Chicago winters create the 4 Stages of Happiness; anticipate, savor, express, reflect. 

Or I could choose an endless summer in California! My kind of Summer, happiness.

Assignment:

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Identify an area that is causing you grief. Identify the attachment. Identify the root of attachment and why. Pain is real, suffering is optional.

When we cling to the past, having attachment, the necessity of moving into the future feels painful. Without attachment, no pain. After the confusion and turbulence of grief sometimes the only way to move on is to start anew. Once you know what is causing the pain choose to do something about it, be daring, be bold, be unconventional.

Everything you have done in the past has got you up to this point and that’s fine, but stagnant. You know what stagnant smells like? If you don't I have some post practice yoga clothes you can smell, and wash for me! From this point further you must choose something different. In order to do you, to have different results, to remove stagnation, do something different. It may feel icky, weird, and uncomfortable at first, and that is a sign that you are changing.

The assignment is this; If in the past you ran away and caged in yourself from attachment, blocking it out of mind and telling yourself that you are ‘moving on,’ now choose to face it head on. Confront yourself and confront what you are attached to, no more hiding. If you clung to the attachment like a wet bathing costume to the body, maybe it is time to say goodbye, move on.

MANTRA: OM GUM GANAPATAYEI NAMAH