"You watch your mind to see who are are not. I watch my mind to gain a sense of its content, which as always been my pain. As I watch it, I get a sense of its impermanence. Thoughts come and go as part of a process. I see how content dissolves into process and begin to see the patterns in the process. Realizing it isn't MY suffering, MY pain, it becomes THE pain. I've gone from the tiny, the small, and the individual to the universal. I feel OUR pain. When we do, we go from fear to compassion. Fear is MY pain, compassion is THE pain. ~ Stephen Levine
A dear friend of mine gave this poem to me because she felt it was something good for me to read. And it knocked me over.
This poem feels like it was absolutely written for me. It's says for me what I cannot say about something in my spirit right now. I've been realizing since the passing of my daughter, a pivotal life event for me, that the thoughts living in my head are mostly lies, yes MOST of them. The ones that make me suffer, are the biggest lies.
I have been watching my mind to see exactly who I am NOT. I am the exact opposite of what I have thought I was for so long. The content I've absorbed most of my life has been totally completely not true, and a huge source of pain for me. And for this I’m so grateful, more peaceful, and more willing to be easier on myself, to love myself.
It's only recently that I get a sense of the "impermanence" he is talking about. If I'm patient with myself, I'm learning the suffering thoughts do pass. And I love when they do, and when they do, I don't brace myself for the next one. I know not to take the next one so damn seriously. Thank God for this.
At first I didn't know what he meant by process, so I looked it up.
process : a series of actions or steps taken in order to achieve a particular end:
And what comes to me is there is no end when it comes to suffering thoughts, this I know. I've heard Dr. Wayne Dyer talk about thoughts as a stock market line always going and going and changing. I like to think of our thoughts this way, just background noise, most can just pass on by. Buh Bye.
I got tripped up in "it becomes THE pain." And I realize he is at a space I have not joined in yet. I’m going there, it’s on the edge of my understanding.
The last line of the poem made me think people upset collectively doesn’t help anyone, it creates a pity party. Everyone spirals down to a negative space. If one person can elevate above the suffering thoughts, then at least something productive can happen.
Stephen Levine's work helped me remember my suffering thoughts, any thoughts I have are not new. They are “our pain”. I'd like to read more of his stuff.
Deep thoughts today. Sending my best to all.