When Kindness Suffers

“It hurts my heart when Kindness suffers,” Grow said to an empty house.

The injustice of it makes them question everything. Why? Grow asks. Philosophers, sages, mystics, and ordinary people have asked that question as well. There are no meaningful answers.

Grow can’t fix the suffering and they know that any attempt to do so will only make matters worse. Grow can’t ignore the suffering because Kindness’ sweet love is too beautiful to cast aside. Grow only knows to walk with Kindness through the pain.

That walk is like balancing on a flowerbed beam or a curb. If Grow loses their balance to the right, Grow will step off into taking responsibly for the suffering. One foot off course to the left and Grow will walk into suffering that’s all their own.

The way is tight and narrow. Grow takes each step with the reminder: I walk with you but I am not you. To suffer with means allowing silence to be. It means listening, sometimes without response. It means shared tears.

They walk together, neither completely understanding the other, but walking nonetheless. The walk is dark, lonely, sad, and exhausting. Even so, they acknowledge the presence of hope as they walk. Hope keeps them placing one foot in front of the other. They walk, hoping for an end of suffering. They walk, hoping that their next step will walk them into joy. They walk through suffering together because Kindness and Grow love each other and that love is the source of the hope.

They walk because there isn’t anything else to do.

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Burn

My heart is the wick of a blown out candle. It once burned hot and cast warm light into the dark of night. Now it is cold and curled, bent over, burned, and covered with suet. A dark presence even in the light of day.

And yet, my heart exists. Is it waiting to host a flame again? Does it hold that memory? Dried as it is, just one spark would ignite and restore it.

Light the candle. Burn, baby. Burn.

The List: An Update

I’m only two days into working The List, but I’m already aware of benefits. What I have learned, or perhaps remembered, is if my mind and body are not disciplined, then I tend to obsess over circumstances that I cannot affect or control. Since the pursuits and activities on The List are goals I wish to accomplish, then even small successes create happiness. It seems a small accomplishment, indeed, to have mowed the yard, but having done so makes me happy.

I know next to nothing about psychotherapy, but I think training the mind to focus on that which makes one happy is a big part of it.

I have learned (or, actually, remembered) that happiness is often a choice I make.