“Not up to the Magnitude of the Pain…”

Let go of any bitterness that may have come
because you were not up to the magnitude of the pain
that was entrusted to you.
Like the Mother of the world,
who carries the pain of the world in her heart,
each one of us is part of her heart,
and therefore endowed
with a certain measure of cosmic pain.
You are sharing in the totality of that pain.
You are called upon to meet it in compassion
instead of self-pity.
— Pir Vilayat Khan

These words were very helpful to me.  Especially the part about “not up to the magnitude of the pain,” because I certainly never felt that I was “up to” the intensity and degree of pain that I’ve suffered because of PTSD, severe depression, abandonment, the airplane phobia, etc.  I don’t think I spent a lot of time in self-pity, but I was angry at myself that I “couldn’t get out of a bad mood.”

Recently, as I’ve become aware of the pain of my tender heart, I realize that the pain is for all those suffering from the toxic effects of modern Western Civilization.  This is an insight that I keep coming to and then losing, that my pain is not about me at all.  Recently I really got that “Shamans know that those wounds are not their own but the world’s.” (Matthew Fox)   It’s so clear at this point that my pain is not about me.  Getting this really allows me to bear it in compassion.

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