I would choose no one else's life over mine.
Better a known devil.....
Sure, I—like most people, I suppose—have things about my life that I would like to change. I cannot say that all my grandest dreams have come to pass just yet, however, when we are envious of other's lives or achievements/possessions, we often are only wishing that we could have "a portion" of their lives--what we may see as outer successes or glory. We are never aware of any suffering it took to get to that point, the inner fears that they might have, or the "current cost" of those successes.
Take on the garment of another and you cannot go unaffected by their ways.**
I heard a story some time ago about a spiritual leader that got so tired of her flock arguing about whose sufferings was worst. Week after week, not only did they proclaim the supremacy of their own suffering, but they demeaned their neighbors as not being justified in their personal suffering. “If my pain was as little as theirs, I could laugh and be joyous, rather than be forced to go about with this pained look in my eye.
The leader called her flock together around a gnarly little tree one winter day and handed each person a pencil and an envelope with a string through a hole in the corner, and a blank piece of paper inside.
“I have been very troubled that many of you feel that Spirit has given you a more severe burden to carry than your neighbors. I took this heartfelt concern to prayer with me, and Spirit has offered a solution.
“We will each take the blank paper out of the envelope, write down our personal suffering, and put the paper back in the envelope. Write your name on the front of the envelope and find a limb to tie your envelope on.
“This is our suffering tree. When you tie your envelope, your suffering, onto the tree, Spirit has promised that you will be free of it. However, as you have left a suffering on the tree, you must take one from the tree. Every person will be allowed to exchange their suffering for any other that they pick off this tree as we walk around it. Once all the sufferings have been taken back from this tree, we will be done—and Spirit promises that each of us will then be more content with the suffering we bear.”
It took quite a long time of walking around the tree before anyone took any suffering to be their own. But eventually, the first envelope was claimed. Little by little, every envelope came off the tree, each person claiming the suffering of their choice.
And each person claimed the very same suffering they had hung on the tree...but Spirit was correct. Each one was more content with what was theirs to bear.
Whose life would you like to be living?
copyright 2008 CG Walters
Words do not contain truth, but may reflect the truth that you hold within.
This is my truth. Only you can determine if there is any value in it for you.
C.G. Walters primarily writes fiction that focuses on the multidimensionality of our loves and our lives. His current novel, Sacred Vow is a metaphysical novel about a man who responds to the mysterious call of [his soulmate], opening the way to redefinition of both
himself and his understanding of the world around him…Highly recommended. —Midwest Book Review.
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In celebration of CG’s upcoming non-fiction book, **Strike a Chord of Silence, for a limited time autographed/signed copies of Sacred Vow are available!
Purchase a signed paperback copy from http://sacredvow.dragonsbeard.com/ – or buy from your favorite brick and mortar, or online store (Amazon.com ). Purchase Sacred Vow as ebook http://www.mobipocket.com/en/eBooks/eBookDetails.asp?BookID=79405&Origine=3971
or the Amazon Kindle version
Thank to Anand Dhillon at Carnival of Self-Mastery - July 29, 2008 , and to Pinkblock at Blog Carnival on Personal Power September 28, 2008 for featuring this article.