Grief shook my foundation. It left me feeling foggy. My days felt like they were moving in slow motion. My energy seemed to be sapped out of me. Even my physical self felt less solid. It was like my joints were more loosely connected. I felt less held together in all ways. One of the blessings of this disruption was becoming more of a witness to my habitual thoughts. I didn’t realize how much I thought about Bella through out the day and how much of a place she held in my life. I know the loss of a dog is minor compared to the suffering others are experiencing. I am not meaning to be histrionic, but I wanted to share some reflections from this experience so I am setting the context.
In my experience of grief, I had to find a way to accept something that was unacceptable to me. I had to go beyond the concepts I was living in order to integrate what happened. This threw me into a state of not knowing. I did not know how to come to terms with the loss, even though I knew I would. I trusted my capacity to learn and to have new thought take care of me during this experience. I was forced to have an open mind and go beyond what I already knew.
With my fresh thinking, I not only found greater peace with the intensity of my emotional experience, but I also started to see my relationship to suffering differently. I saw how I judged suffering as wrong. Not just my suffering, but I saw how I judged all suffering as wrong — the suffering of war, terrorism, rape, murder, poverty, genocide. I became aware of my position against suffering in all its forms. But from my new perspective, my righteousness looked like bondage. This sent me on a bit of an existential spin. Who am I to let go of my judgment about these things? If I move into greater peace and acceptance within myself does that make me complicit? How can I have peace when this exists? It is a little bit like how I felt as a child being told to eat my dinner because there are children starving in Bangladesh. How can me being replete help others who aren’t? How can me having greater inner peace be of benefit while others suffer?
I thought I was just seeking peace from losing my dog, but what I was seeing is that peace is the result of letting go of judgment — all judgment. Not just the judgment that my dog should not be dead, but about letting go of any position of judgment against what is. I didn’t realized I had signed up for this.
I had a conversation with Barb Patterson as I was in the middle of trying to make sense of what I was seeing. She helped me to see the difference between changing my experience by stopping suffering and my experience spontaneously changing by waking up from suffering. The latter is about waking up to a greater truth that includes my experience exactly as it is. I could already see this on the inner emotional level, but was seeing more how this also relates to all suffering in general.
Do I judge an animal for lashing out when it is backed into a corner and scared? No, I feel compassion. I am not condoning any harm the animal does, but I am also not in judgment. I am not adding more suffering to that situation. In my lack of understanding, I had taken a position against suffering. All this did was reinforce suffering by judging the form of what was created rather than seeing it as a by-product.
As Sydney Banks wrote in The Missing Link, “Cut off from innate wisdom, a lost thinker experiences isolation, fear and confusion. This is why there are so many horrible atrocities throughout the world.” In this state of being cut off, we are no different than the cornered animal other than, depending on the power we have we as human beings, we can do a lot more damage from this fearful state. I see my judgment as part of the same capacity for me to be cut off from my wisdom and compassion. Whether it be toward my husband for being irritable, toward the perpetrators of violence on a grander scale, or the circumstance of suffering in general. My judgment is my own misled thinking that adds to the sum total of suffering on the planet. When I see this, I can see all of the atrocities occurring on the planet more from a place of compassion. This does not result in apathy. It actually opens my heart more and has me feel more hopeful for change and open to doing my part.
Sydney Banks was clear in pointing to the solution for us all: “The consciousness of humankind must be elevated. Only then, when the spiritual and physical realities are united, will we find the power and intelligence to guide us through life” and he says, “You must find it for yourself.”
Freedom comes from waking up to what is true, not fighting against what is not true, but simply a by-product of misunderstanding. Awakening is an individual journey that benefits the entire planet and all of the universes. Awakening is the result of waking up to what is already there.
My thoughts can bind me or they can set me free. I can loosen my habitual way of seeing things and recognize how the end of suffering begins with the end of the judging what is. Any judgment is bondage to the struggle and cuts us off from the wisdom of our spiritual nature. As we each wake up to our innate connection with our true nature, we change, and the collective dream changes.
When I judge what is, I cut myself off from my connection to my spiritual nature, and really the only solution to the challenges of this world come from each one of us being connected with the wisdom beyond our intellect. There is peace in letting go of the judgment, and there is also greater connection with love and wisdom. This place is alive inside of each one of us.
I do not profess to live there all of the time, but I do feel that grief softened my edges and allowed me to let go of a layer of righteousness. It helped me to line up more with the innate wisdom of my heart. From here my projected subjective reality changes, and I behave differently within it. I am more generous, kind, and understanding. The ripple effect from this is not to be underestimated. If in Chaos Theory, a butterfly flapping its wings in Rio de Janeiro can change the weather in Chicago, the gradual awakening of individuals on this planet can lead to global peace. This is being demonstrated by One Solution and their work in Chicago and the Middle East.
They are having a fundraiser on Giving Tuesday. Beginning at 8am Eastern Time Tuesday Nov 28, log on to Facebook and DONATE whatever amount you can to One Solution. They are in a race to raise 50k as quickly as possible because Bill and Melinda Gates are matching funds up to 50k for non profits who do a Giving Tuesday campaign on Facebook. They will cut off their matching funds once they have gifted $2 million.
Rohini Ross is passionate about helping people wake up to their true nature. She is a psychotherapist, a transformative coach, and author of Marriage (The Soul-Centered Series Book 1). She has an international coaching practice helping individuals, couples, and professionals embrace all of who they are so they can experience greater levels of wellbeing, resiliency, and success. You can follow Rohini on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, watch her Vlogs with her husband, Angus Ross, and subscribe to her weekly blog on her website, rohiniross.com. She has an upcoming program The Solopreneur Leap co-facilitated with Barb Patterson starting January 15th, 2018.