Sidewalk Bends

Exploring the soul and it's reaches.

Archive for the ‘Suffering’ Category

Scales

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How much is enough to give? We are constantly making this calculation in our heads. If I give this amount, can I still cover my bills? Will I be able to pay for my lunch today? Will I still have cash left over? How much will be enough before this person moves on to ask the next person? How much is enough for me to not feel guilty and not feel resentful that the person asked for help in the first place? Will this person waste the money or will they use it for something worthwhile?

We ask these questions and many more, of ourselves when someone asks of our help, whether a beggar or even someone we know, More often than not, we fail to ask if the other person might need more help. We seem to care more about how we feel after leaving the situation than caring for the other person. Is that the right thing to do? Should our guilt or lack thereof take precedent over another person’s suffering? If we, individually, or as a whole, can ease the suffering of just one individual, should we not do all that is possible?

Rather than judge the cleanliness or disposition of an individual as a gauge of our willingness to give assistance, perhaps we should turn the microscope on ourselves. We have what we have only by the grace of the Divine. What has been given can surely be taken away? And so perhaps instead of being concerned with maintaining or counting on our next blessing, we should be sharing our blessings with others, that we may all feel the presence and be a witness to the Divine.

In doing so, perhaps we may see the Divine nature of man, for he is not lost, lest he wants to be.

Written by Sidewalk Bends

March 15, 2013 at 7:28 am

Lashing Out at the Innocents

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man yellingWhen we lash out at those who try to help, we do nothing but bring pain to ourselves. When we lash out at the innocents we bring pain to everyone. Though pain might be a seemingly comforting place to some, in truth it is just a place of familiarity. Rather than seeing beyond the hate and anger, we seek to wallow in it. We see ourselves as undeserving of love and justify this thought with behaviors to match.

We ask ourselves why things are the way they are, why the good suffer and why those we deem as lesser beings seem immune to the chaos. We can’t quite comprehend why the balance of the universe seems tilted one way versus another, why it seems tilted away from us. But if we just stopped long enough to see why some behave the way they do, and how we react to others and the situations that we find ourselves in, we would realize that it is not the world that is skewed towards or away from us, but rather our perception of the world and our view of those in it that are skewed. We apply our desires, fears and prejudices towards others, and we ask why “they” are the way they are without ever looking at ourselves.

No matter our transgressions or the transgressions of others, it is not about blame. It is about righting a ship that has gone off course. It is about finding inner peace and bringing it to the outer world. It is about understanding our pain and releasing it so that we may suffer no longer. Choose to release the pain. Choose to accept love. Choose happiness.

Written by Sidewalk Bends

May 28, 2012 at 6:59 pm

Let Us Cry Together

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crying childDo not take away my pain for it is mine to bear. Do not take away my tears for they are mine to shed. Do not take away my heartache for it is mine to understand. Do not parse my words for they are mine to express. Do not tell me how to grieve. Do not tell me how to cry. Love me the same as you would love those in pain.

It is difficult to watch those we love suffer in such a way we can only fathom to understand. No one wants to see their children, siblings or parents in pain. No one wants to watch those they love go through an anguish that can alone be lifted with time and healing.

While we all grieve in our own way we must allow each to express themselves in their way and in their time. Some fold into their shell and hide from prying eyes. Some cry uncontrollably. Some appear as though all emotions have been wiped from their face. Some become angry and lash out. Still others seek comfort and solace in all who would give it. Though we may all grieve in our own way, we need not grieve alone. We need not suffer alone. We need not heal alone.

Though we may each shed a tear, let us shed it together. Let us cry on each other’s shoulders and worry not about the time. Let us accept each other’s loving embrace and remember we are never alone. Let us remember that in happy times, and sad, we are always loved. We are never alone. Let us celebrate together.

Written by Sidewalk Bends

April 17, 2012 at 12:35 am

Discover it in You

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bound handsHow do we separate the oppressor from the hero? Perhaps we cannot separate the two. They are one in the same,
for one person’s hero is another’s oppressor. We build monuments to all things we consider heroic and try to
destroy and hide all the things we consider disgraceful. But how can we distinguish the two? Who is to say
which is which? And when it’s been decided, what side of the coin do we land on?

Others will try to answer these questions for us and many of us will blindly take it all in, but in doing so
haven’t we given up our free will to another? Do we not enable others to decide our fate, to judge us? We are
all links in the chain. Large and small, our strength comes from each other.

Hidden in the desert, berried at sea, or just locked away in our own hearts and minds, we are all the same.
We are heroes and oppressors alike. We may be heroes to others, but to ourselves, an oppressor. We
hide behind our jobs, behind our children, behind half crooked smiles. We hide our true selves to please
others.

I am a hero. I am an oppressor. And yet they both do not have to be. I am perfectly imperfect and this is me.
Now, can you discover it in you?

Written by Sidewalk Bends

October 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm

Diverging from Buddhism, Self-Immolation

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Quang DucSelf-immolation is a misunderstanding of the tenets of life. Love thyself. Love all others. Do no harm. When we do harm, even to ourselves for a perceived cause that we support, we lose sight of love. We may try to convince ourselves that by sacrificing oneself for a cause greater than ourselves we are in fact shining a light on the injustice, but we are in fact distracting from that which is without condition.

Love does not require all others to believe for it to exist. Love and truths that surpass the boundaries of the mind do not need capitulation or agreement from all sides in order to continue. Whether it is self-immolation through burning oneself or whether it is a person who decides to blow oneself up, the act does nothing but to place a light squarely on oneself. It is the ego, which seeks to be known that receives attention.

Love cannot be forced. Understanding also cannot be forced. When one decides to love without condition, understanding comes not far behind. The struggle is always internal, for in a hurricane, a sand storm or on a clear day, all that we try to suppress comes boiling up. When we can accept ourselves and when we can accept others, we will find understanding.

Reconciling the Evils of Men and Women

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sad angelHow do you reconcile the evil in other men and women? Do you judge their acts and their thoughts? Do you succumb to their ways, whether as a need of acceptance or an act of desperation and survival? How do you reconcile your thoughts, your actions and feelings? From every breath we draw the divine and with each exhale we make a choice. Do we share that grace with others, or do we choose to fall from our own graces just to please another?

Perhaps God does not exist to judge us, and perhaps he does not exist to cause us suffering? We do such a good job of it on our own. We punish ourselves each day. We turn our backs and we turn our faces in shame of the things we’ve done, and contemplate doing. At the end of each day, we must look at ourselves and ask, was I the best version of myself today? Did I help others to be the best version of themselves, or did I act selfishly without regard for others? Did I help to bring calm, or did I add to the confusion? Did I bring peace and understanding, or did I stoke the flames of anger and hate?

Do not become the hate you try to extinguish. Do not stir the pot of confusion. Regardless of the God above, bring joy to all those who come into your life.

Written by Sidewalk Bends

June 21, 2011 at 11:58 pm

Dog Pile

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Line of jurors for Casey Anthony trial

What can we say for ourselves when we take joy in the destruction and dismantling of others? What does that say about us? Have our hearts’ become cold? Have we removed ourselves completely from feeling any empathy or compassion towards others? Have we become so cynical that seeing others in pain brings us enjoyment? We gather to see a spectacle, but in the process, do we not become the spectacle? Are we not taking part in the dismantling of ourselves?

All too often we try to mask our own pain by bringing to attention the pain and suffering of others. But rather than alleviating anyone’s suffering, all we do is throw more fuel onto an already burning fire and turn a blind eye towards our own issues. We smile and put up a proud face, but underneath, the pain is all too clear. And so rather than face it, we point it out in others.

We smile and we laugh and we give all the reasons for why others are imperfect, never giving a second thought to ourselves. Each person has their own trials. Each person learns in their way. Each person comes to an understanding of the truth by their own choices. If we could allow that, and learn to understand that despite our own suffering, we need not bring others into it. So rather than jumping in on the dog pile, perhaps we can have some sympathy and compassion.

photo credit: Bay News 9