Love & Light Blog by Diane Donovan-Vaughn 1/19/2019

What is the purpose of life? Why do awful things happen to people here? 

Having been home for five weeks recovering from surgery, I found myself alone with my mind and my pain.  Luckily, many years of practice makes it very possible to redirect the mind to outcomes I would love to see rather than the one that might be annoying me at the moment.  I am not suggesting that redirecting the mind happens before acknowledging the suffering because the suffering may be the lesson for the ego.

Every time suffering occurs, a choice presents itself.  Herein may be the purpose of life. Within these many life lessons, is an opportunity to sink or swim, to wallow in victimhood or to surrender to the flow of the divine. 

An amazing epiphany unfolded at home while I was suffering.  The only clients I really interacted with were the ones with the absolutely most convincing suffering, the ones whose lives may have been a series of awful, abusive events right to the present day of pain, lack and loneliness.  As I interact with this suffering, feeling despair and hopelessness in every word, I asked myself the same question I hear asked often, “Why would anyone have to suffer on earth like this?”  It seems so unfair and yet what is the purpose of life? Bear in mind that while I am asking the question, I too am in agonizing physical pain myself and at the same time aware that this pain is a temporary opportunity to grow as a soul.

I have this theory that life is an education, a school with some very difficult lessons.  Who do you know who does not suffer?  Some suffer more and some less but all suffer. Who does not learn very powerful lessons here?

Long ago, when I first encountered this question of why some people are in a life of seemingly ongoing suffering for year after year, one such person told me that her soul came here in this very situation to finish many lifetimes in one.

As I interacted with several severely abused and at risk individuals, all while in severe pain myself, I began to notice a common theme among us all, which I would call a powerful ego.  It is an ego that wants justice, that wants to punish, that wants to latch onto the pain and the injustice and stay there because the pain is so believable that the way out is unavailable.  It is like being locked in a prison of suffering victimhood punished by a powerful God in a cell with no exists.  As the ego sits in it self-righteous cell, the cell walls are solid.

However, as soon as the pain gets overwhelming, the person hits a complete bottom and gives up.  Crying out to the Universe or to God, the person surrenders to the divine and miraculously an open window appears, a miracle.  The person crawls out the window and rests but as soon as pain reappears, forgets again and the cycle repeats.

The purpose of life is to remember love, to remember the window is there always waiting for the ego to surrender. As long as the ego is in charge, fully believing its version of justice and punishment of itself and others, the cell walls will stay solid as the ego blinds the eyes and the ears to the grace of the miracle of surrender.

The one common quality among all who continually suffer day after day, year after year, lifetime after lifetime is a powerful ego that will not see or hear anything but its painful version of reality.

As this epiphany unfolded, I felt tired. I am the therapist trying to convince a person, including myself that even though the pain is pain and very convincing, the ego is what keeps it from finding a way out and that the very struggle of the ego to stay firmly in charge is the basis of every lesson in life.

Disbelieving and surrendering in the face of agony seems impossible to the ego but not to the higher self.  For example, I had the most excruciating pain for three weeks. Letting go of my ego’s belief that nothing can help, a miracle appears. Two days of drinking a total of six ounces of aloe vera juice reduced that pain by seventy-five percent. That miracle would never have occurred to my ego, which believes in its pain.

A Course in Miracles states that miracles are ordinary and they are when the ego bows to the higher self.  Remember to acknowledge the pain and watch the reaction of the ego but listen to the divine for your solution, for the window of grace and your life will be filled with miracles.

Today the daily meditation from Living a Life of Awareness – Meditations on the TOLTEC Path by Don Miguel Ruiz Jr. is titled “Staying Flexible in Your Plans” page 24.

Ruiz said, “While it’s often a good idea to have a plan for what you want in life, it’s equally important to remember that plans can change.

“The one thing we can be sure of is that in our journey through life things will arise and try to throw us off balance, making our original road tough to follow. Often life goes in a direction we couldn’t have imagined.  The question then becomes, how do we react when this happens? Are we open to seeing that life had better plans for us than we did? Or do we lament the past, thinking that things could have been better if only this or that had not occurred?

“Part of enjoying the life we have now is giving up the idea of what we thought we wanted in the past, because we no longer want it.”

Ruiz Practice: “With awareness today, look at any remaining stories you have about what “could have been” in your life. If you don’t have any lingering stories or regrets, that’s wonderful. If you do, I invite you to release them, because the life you have right now is the perfect one for you.”

Let’s practice one more time.

Close your eyes and relax.  Breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth.  As you inhale, imagine you are breathing in light. As you exhale imagine you are releasing all tension.  Place your attention on the center of your chest, your true or higher self and rest inside your connection to the divine, to all that is. Think about something that you think is unfair, or unjust, something that may have happened to you or is happening that you think is too painful and almost ridiculous for a human to endure.  Think about all the injustice in the world.  Now, take a deep relaxing breath and notice how the mind talks to you and the tension it creates.  Notice the part of you that is known as the ego or the judge. Then, move your attention to the center of your heart where you do not know, where you surrender to this experience called life.  Allow a the light to wash through the darkness you have encountered and fill your body, mind and ego with love and light, Send that love and light to the all the pain in the world.  Relax and remember to surrender to love.  Namaste