I LOVE stories with a lesson. If we look for them, there are lessons in EVERY story.
This is a story I was raised with. The telling of this story, and the teachings of this man, have affected millions of people throughout the years, and is worth retelling.
Centuries ago, as he hung from a cross in extreme pain, after enduring a day of torture and abuse and being nailed to a cross, Christ taught an important lesson with a last request. He looked down at his friend, Peter, and his mother, Mary. They looked up at him, horrified by the ugly scene before them. The flesh was falling off of his body where he had been whipped in the streets during the day. Blood trickled down this broken man and pooled at the bottom of the cross from his wounds. A crown of three-to-six-inch thorns was literally hammered into his head under the weight of a flat board, leaving deep tears and gashes in his scalp and covering his entire body in his own blood. The common practice at the time was to embarrass or humiliate men by tying them to the cross, but in this case, the Romans decided to nail this particular man’s hands and feet to the cross in order to inflict upon him as much pain as they possibly could. When they realized the weight of his body wouldn’t be held by the nails in his hands, they put nails in his wrists, as well.
Here was a man that Peter and Mary knew and loved. He was family.
He looked to Peter, first. “Man-behold they mother.” His heavy head turned to his mom. “Woman-behold thy son.”
In the last minutes of his life, he taught them that, “Together is Better.” He asked them to take care of each other. He knew he wouldn’t be around much longer in this physical world to do it himself.
Reminder to self:
Look around you today as you hurry through your busy life. Take the time to really see, notice, and recognize the people around you, amidst all of the distractions and the hurried business of the day. We are all family. We are all ONE. We are all infinitely connected, having been cut from the same cloth, and plucked from the same source, to be inserted into this temporary, physical realm, in a temporary, human, physical body. We have all endured and suffered through pain, and on this common plane of pain, we can all relate to one another.
We each have the opportunity to connect with others around us at various times throughout the day. Let us all take the chance and opportunity to do so.
One of my favorite things I have ever heard about pain is this: “Someday, this pain will be useful to you.”
What better use is pain that has been endured and suffered through, than to empower us to understand, relate to, and empathize with others in pain? What better use is pain than to share the wisdom and helpful tools that comes from surviving it, learning to live with and through it, and effectively comforting others going through it, as we have? What better ways to learn and use compassion?
While pain and suffering is a way we are connected, I believe it is FAR more useful to connect through unconditional love and acceptance, which is the divine energy within us ALL. To give unconditional love and acceptance, we must first HAVE these things within us to give.
How do we reconnect with this inner, divine energy source that we all ARE? How do we UN-become everything we have worked so hard to be in order to feel accepted, validated, appreciated, and loved by others? How do we leave behind the outer sources of everything we have perceived to be making us happy, peaceful, accepted, validated , appreciated, and loved, and simply BE these things, no longer needing anything from anyone?
Today I will be there for someone who needs it.
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Remember: Mindset matters. Character counts. That which we choose to consistently focus on is what EXPANDS in our lives. WE CREATE our personal realities.