Pain & Suffering
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Pain & Suffering

Affirmation:  I have Miracles in my mouth.
Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.  These are words from my husband.  I believe they are Buddhist in origin but he was the one to share this concept with me.
Right now we are in the second week of Advent, in case some of you haven’t noticed that it’s the Christmas season.  Christmas!  What emotions does that word stir in you?  I must admit, many times throughout the season, the one emotion I feel is panic.  But, I love the season.  I love the music, I love decorating the house (It looks so warm and inviting with the tree and the lights.), I love sharing stories via cards; I love buying gifts for my family and friends, I love the opportunity to give to some who are less fortunate than I.  I love the cold, because I snuggle in, wrap up, eat more soup.  I love preparing for the miracle of the season, Christmas day.
But, when I talk to others, the word “hate” has come up quite a lot with regard to this time of the year.  What do you think?  Is it OK to recognize that you hate something, to own that?  Is that different from dwelling on it, letting it affect your spirit, your whole being?  I wonder?  You don’t want to disregard how you feel about something but is it healthier, once you recognize it, to reframe it to something more positive?  And then, how do you do that?  What if this has been a horrible time for you in your life?  I’m sure you can all think of difficult experiences that have taken place at certain times of the year and you carry that in your memories and your cells.  But, can one turn that around?  Can you go from acknowledging the pain but eliminating the suffering?  How would one do that? 
What if every day you found one thing that brought you joy, one small thing and you let yourself absorb it?  If you could recognize the blessings that can come at this time, would you begin to feel better about the season?  If you felt better, would the suffering be less?  If you find the blessings, would that soften your heart towards that day of hope that is coming, very very soon? May you have a joy filled, blessed Advent and a miraculous Christmas.

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