Brace yourself, there is some greater purpose in this misery
Over fifty? Perhaps you find yourself saying 'the best lessons in life were unfortunately the most painful'. It's a view that certainly resonates with my own experience. Some of the events through which lessons were learned have been so regrettable that the idea of simply erasing them from memory and history does appeal. But then again would I be who I am today, lessons learned?
In the Srimad Bhagavatam, the continued misery in life, even after having adopted a spiritual path, is rationalised as purposeful. There is something in it, between us and our creator, through which the lesson learned, if learned, will free us. Suffering is therefore a rite of passage.
Tonight I took sometime out to listen to a talk by Andrew Solomon entitled: How the worst moments in our lives make us who we are'. Midway through the talk he came out with a powerful one liner that stuck in my mind, as a further reflection through which to look on adversity as purposeful:
'Ease makes less of an impression on us than struggle. We could have been ourselves without our delights but not without the unfairness that drives our search for meaning.'
Recently I had a dream where my departed father was sitting with his arm around me. He was praising me for how well I had done in life, but I was sobbing profusely. My response between sobs was just that if I had had more opportunity as a young man I could have done more, I could have been a better person. That was all and the dream ended.
Sometimes the lessons and trials have been so tough that in dreams like this we cry in deep self empathy. It's not easy, it's sad, but the truth found in our experience is that it is purposeful.
So much as the idea of 'erase' may linger on, best get up, dust off and patiently await the revelation to take place. In time and when we look back we will see the great lessons in humanity, and in our lives of devotion that have been learned.