Recently I had a chance to ask a dear friend about his spiritual journey, his soul journey.
As a teacher, leader, musician, father, friend, and businessman, my friend wears many hats! One of the wonderful attributes about him is his willingness to be open about his inner experiences. Candidly, that’s why I wanted to talk to him. I wanted to ask him what he has experienced, learned, struggled with along his path.
As I listened and he shared, I was taken by three themes that I will explore more in depth in future blogs.
- Human discontent brings energy and suffering
- We are enough, and yet we strive to be better, more, greater, etc.
- We are quick to try to avoid pain. Often pain comes to us unexpected. In many cases, we try to act our way out of or through pain. In some cases, when we sit with our pain, or sit with others who are in pain, we open the possibility of healing.
Through our conversation, we talked about many things but what struck me was the commonality we share on these three themes. The other thing that struck me is that each of these themes are not good or bad, right or wrong, they are “both and.”
As this is an introduction, I’ve included a number of quotes that highlight different views on these themes. I hope you are both intrigued and challenged by the breadth of thought.
- “Discontent has a creative force in it.” – Sunday Adelaja
- “The ones that always, always want something better, will never find better.” – Anthony Liccione
- “When you have no choice, you have no discontent either.”
― Vivek Shanbhag, from the book Ghachar Ghochar
On being enough…
- “Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.”
– Jalaluddin Rumi
- “Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” – Jesus words from Matthew
- “Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
On sitting with pain…
In some cases, levels of human suffering and pain reach levels which I do not understand nor have experienced directly. As I write about pain in the future, I will count on you to help me articulate, differentiate and discuss the depths of pain and suffering we experience.
- “Have pity on me, my friends, have pity, for the hand of God has struck me.” – Book of Job, chapter 19
- “Perfect humility tends to the annihilation of self.” – Meister Eckhart
- “Everyone can master a grief but he that has it.” –William Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing