Another experience of separation came to teach me this week disguised in the sudden death of a beloved pet. What I took for granted, expected to exist and cared for every day, was gone in a matter of seconds. How do we, how do I bring the truth of life’s frailty into a shared space with the pain of separation? Acceptance and helplessness seem joined at the hip in some circumstances.
The Buddha taught that impermanence will cause separation from everything and everyone I care for. Pain will occur in some shape or form, in every living being. Suffering, however, arises from grasping for what cannot be, and also for what can be. We do not have to suffer.
These teachings are beautiful, simple truths. As I live out my days in these latter years of my existence my feelings seem more intense than ever. And as I make a space for my experiences to dwell, I am learning to hold them and regard them with loving compassion.
Without judgement, I look at them all; the anxious thought, worry, sadness, peacefulness, joy and acceptance as they appear. No longer do I entertain negative self-talk as I did for so many years. Shaming, chastising internal dialogue has been exposed and abandoned.
Where there is love, kindness and self-acceptance alive in me, all these can then be available to others, genuinely. Life in this moment is our agent for joy, peace and hope.
Another loved one passes through the door of earthly time, and what I feel is what it takes to anchor them within my heart forever.