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At the End of Deep Suffering is Joy

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Photo credit: Tamas Lansbergen

Each time you are thrashed with the pain inflicted by another and self, you are forced to dig deeper into the well of darkness and despair. With each recollection of angst, you tumble further down.

You’ve been blamed, shamed, bullied, wronged, perpetually told you are not good enough, labelled ‘ugly’, had your intelligence written off as ‘freakish’, been held by the throat because you dared to stick up for yourself, had your vulnerability twisted, wrung and squeezed for narcissistic pleasure, felt the wrath of jealousy and envy, had one of the world’s deadliest diseases steal a part of your body, held your dying young, faced the ultimate rejection, picked what you thought you deserved not believing you could get better, trusted hard and got deeply betrayed, ridiculed, invalidated, abandoned, neglected, rejected, stonewalled, left for dead…

The lump in your throat feels full to burst. Your weary body cries out “How much more?”

Then, there is stillness and silence. You hear your breath… inhale… exhale…

You dig again…

Suddenly, your spade detects concrete amongst the dirt in the previously thought, ‘bottomless pit’. Startled, you wipe your salty tears with your swollen dusty hand and you realise a rope has appeared. Puzzled, you question, “Had it been there all along?”

As you tentatively climb towards the beckoning light, your warm smiling soul greets you with an outstretched arm and pulls you hither. The unfamiliar but welcomed feeling of deep peace, belonging, pure acceptance and earth-shattering joy, rises up inside and fills you to the brim.

Inhale… exhale…

Smile…

Finally you get it! At your darkest moment, you allowed the stillness to guide you to your true essence – your soul. She had been there all along but had been held hostage by the fear, worry, anxiety and stress – the noise. When you opened yourself to let her in, you realised, at the end of deep suffering is pure, undiluted, everlasting joy. It was always there, you just didn’t know how to find it. You simply needed the stillness, to embrace the silence and breathe.

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