L E T T E R from Jac – Suffering is optional – The Broad Place

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L E T T E R from Jac – Suffering is optional

It’s so desirable to make the ‘right decision’ and so challenging in knowing what the heck that is without all the information available in that moment. I seem to have had a string of things occur these past few years, including the pandemic and a move back to Australia, that created an enormous amount of angst in the decisions that went with them. Waiting on all the information to make the wisest possible decision, often isn’t an option, and decisions must be made, bringing with it a fresh level of pressure – and it’s hard to stay cool under that pressure. I got to thinking about this more deeply, as I just opened an old suitcase, and within one of the pockets I found a piece of paper. Scrawled upon it are all these options, from when we were in London and trying to work out what to do in the early phases of the pandemic. Looking at it now, with a daughter, an elderly dog, family in another country, work opportunities having all been depleted, and what felt like pending border closures in our home country, as well as the opinions of pretty much everyone we knew all in conflict with each other, makes me really feel empathy towards the person I was a year ago writing them all down. I remember it so clearly, attempting to rationalise the unfathomable, a pandemic, and what to do within it. 

In hindsight – the wonderful friend of clarity hindsight is, that seems to be only present when viewing backwards but not in the moment – we made the decisions we made with what we knew at the time. Somethings worked out really well, somethings didn’t work out so well at all. In hindsight, this all feels rather obvious, and naturally not all of it is going to land well. And with hindsight, a level of trust, compassion, surrender and grace is there. So simply, so straightforwardly obvious.

So what does this mean for our present moment challenges? It means that through the lens of awareness that not everything will go well not matter what we attempt. So we can tighten our grip, indulge in our fears OR loosen up our expectations, and our suffering that goes with it. It’s when we mistakenly believe that somehow we can circumnavigate unpleasantness and grief, that we make all kinds of bad decisions, and cause even more suffering. 

So this is for you if you’re going through something challenging right now. Remember unpleasantness, frustration and grief are part of being human. That no matter what happens, in hindsight things will be a lot clearer, even though not necessarily right now in the thick of it. That no matter what you feel now, you won’t feel that way forever. So go gently, go as wisely as you can, and drop all the resistance you possibly can along the way. For the resistance is what causes so much of the suffering. 

With love,

Jac x

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