Question: I (and many others) have lost so much in the recent storm. How do we begin to move beyond all the grief and suffering to some kind of peace and understanding of why such a thing could have happened?
Answer: We can either be a student of life, understanding the innate goodness that has given us our being — and that seeks its ultimate perfection through our trials and tribulations — or we can suffer what seems the disconnected gyrations of this world, and join ourselves to its dark and descending cycle.
Generally speaking, there would be no question as to which is the proper choice, and most would profess they prefer the former as it seems positive and life-giving. But the true student of life must always choose to look at life (despite how difficult this may be) as a school for his or her higher education. This isn’t to say that we don’t suffer, that we don’t grieve over loss — especially in the face of how unjust it seems. But what our choice does mean is that we suffer in a new way, in a conscious way, the things that come along that seem to make no sense.
In this instance, the loss can also prove to be the gateway to a holy new understanding: the pain we feel in such unthinkable moments isn’t because love itself has been taken from us, but rather the form through which we knew that love in and through ourselves.
Part of the pain of such a loss is losing the ways in which we knew ourselves. In the end, the true student of life — those of us who love the Divine — must be willing to see that when God takes from us the temporary forms that he does — including those we love most — He is really offering us (at the same time) the possibility of seeing that so much of our suffering is because we have mistaken what must be passing for something that is everlasting.
Only God, Christ, Love, the Light of Truth — call it what you will — is eternal. Only our hard-fought battle to learn the truth of this fact frees us from what appears to be a loss. Persist with your wish to grow, to give yourself to what is good, and nothing can stand between you and the love you long to know, and be.
What else is the blow of any pain that follows the loss of something thought to be our own, but a sharp and merciful reminder that in this life we do not possess what we imagine we do!
The next time that a piece of your life breaks off and falls away, try to remember that what is Real cannot be lost, and then give thanks that what is false must always prove itself so.
We can either spend our time thinking about what we don’t have, feeling empty and bitter over some imagined contentment lost… or we can become quietly aware of what we already are and find there, within our Self, what is overflowing, full of Light, and beyond the reach of any dark thought.
When we know that life – bare as it may be at times – is the most precious gift of all, then ours is a peace beyond profit and immune to loss.