Life is a labor pain of self-birth. Sometimes God responds to your prayers when you are not able to complete the birthing process, and sometimes God steps back when it is time for you to take responsibility and deliver. The following is the third edited excerpt from an article written by Danny Verbov. The first installment was posted here on January 12, 2015, and the second on January 26, 2015. To view his book, go to:
When I use the term more teachers in the titles for these articles, it makes me think that when I say life is a school, I’m also saying that the rest of the world are my teachers. What a faculty! The key is for all of us to show up for class and be willing to learn from all those we meet, no matter how they look or how many degrees they do or don’t have. If life is the teacher, you are attending class everyday just by opening all your senses to full awareness of what you are experiencing.
So many of us spend our lives trying to avoid what life has to offer when we seek numbness, distractions, and ways of escaping the experience of life. The brave stand up to life, confront it and turn the charcoal into a diamond. Whether you believe it or not, if you are willing to learn then you can turn a curse into a blessing because of what it teaches you. And when you start learning from the pain, it does not hurt as much for you. It hurts far more for those who try and eliminate the painful learning experience by running from life and never experiencing it. What the Hell is the point of living if you are not going to stand up to life despite the pain and difficulties which will always be there until we reclassify them into our teachers. When you realize Hell has much to teach us, it no longer seems to be Hell.
At times, when I am having a difficult day, I find I feel better by looking up at a blue sky or at a pretty flower or feel the love some other creature is willing to share with me. I may add that when in the hospital, or ground floor inner city apartment, which has no view of nature but just brick walls you will experience more pain and depression than those who can view nature either through their window or photographs and paintings on the walls of their rooms.
We hear and see this message from many people who have experienced their Hell and learned from it. Viktor Frankl’s concentration camp experience; “To live is to suffer. To survive is to find meaning in the suffering.” Now that I have you all depressed please cheer up because things could be worse. I remember the last time I thought that way I lived the sermon and cheered up and sure enough things got worse.
Remember we all have the potential to do amazing things. It is built into us. It is very instructive that the Hebrew word for miracle, nes, is at the root of the word nisayon, which means test. It is the same word that appears when God tested Abraham. Miracles are nothing less than tests of our Divine potential. It is when human beings pass Divine challenges with honor and distinction, and I would add due to our faith in the Lord, that we are witness to what is worthy of being proclaimed a true miracle. So be sure your faith is in the true Lord and live up to your potential. I have seen it happen. The hardest part is having faith and not questioning or debating other options, including death, when the Lord hands you a difficult situation to face and live with.
One way to ease your pain is to help those going through the pain also. For each of us it is a different experience but also has some common themes which can teach us and help us to help others. Rabbi Noah Weinberg shares, “When someone is in pain, show compassion. Make an effort to spare someone financial loss. Visit someone who is sick, and help care for his needs. Don’t embarrass anyone – especially in public. Don’t gossip about others. Don’t take revenge or bear a grudge. Smile – your happiness affects others. Show respect to the elderly. Find a poor person in your community that you undertake to assist.
Why is “Loving Humanity” a Way to Wisdom? In order to realize your own potential, you have to love humanity. Their success is your success, too. The more you have love in your life, the happier and more efficient you’ll be. If you don’t appreciate the phenomenon of human beings, you’re missing out on one of life’s greatest pleasures. Loving others connects you to the world, to all facets of creation. Love helps you get out of the confines of “me” and into the expansive “we.” Prioritize your love. Appreciate the relative value of each virtue. Realize that all human beings are God’s children.
Peace, Love & Healing,
Bernie Siegel, MD
Imagine having never seen a human being before. What a fantastic gadget!
– Rabbi Noah Weinberg
We can’t fix or cure every affliction but we can love everyone experiencing it.
– Bernie Siegel, MD
We currently have a cancer support group the second and fourth Tuesday evenings of the month at Coachman’s Square at 21 Bradley Road, Woodbridge. If interested contact Lucille Ranciato [email protected] 203 288 2839; or myself [email protected]