“There is a tendency in us to find suffering aversive, to distance ourselves from it. Like if you have a toothache, it becomes that toothache. It’s not us anymore. It’s that tooth. If people are suffering, you want to look at them on television or meet them but keep a distance from them, because you are afraid you will drown in it. You are afraid you will drown in a pain that is unbearable, but the fact of the matter is you have to. You finally have to, because if you close your heart down to anything in the universe, it’s got you. You are then at the mercy of suffering.
And then having finally dealt with suffering, you have to consume it into yourself. This means you have to – with eyes open – be able to keep your heart open in hell. You have to look at what is and say, “yeah right”. It’s bearing the unbearable. And in a way, who you think you are can’t do it. Who you really are can do it. So who you think you are dies in the process”
– Ram Dass
Nothing has aligned with my journey over the past few years as much as this Ram Dass quote has. By bearing the unbearable with my heart wide open I have found that place in me that my ego had kept hidden for most of my life. We need to lose ourselves to find ourselves. Faith doesn’t stop the storm from coming but it does give us the courage to walk through the storm.