Day 150 – Rest In Peace
‘All pain is the same and when you know better you act better.’ – Oprah
Today’s mindfulness class focused on mindfulness of emotions, and what an emotional couple of days it’s been! Yesterday there was the news about the terrible tragedy in Norway, and I just now heard the breaking news that troubled singer Amy Winehouse has been found dead.
Sometimes world news becomes incredibly overwhelming and I wonder where I can put all the emotion I feel for situations completely out of my control or everyday life that still touch me deep within my heart.
Interestingly, I happened to catch an episode of Oprah that I hadn’t seen before. It was an episode about lessons she has learned over the years from guests who have suffered terrible tragedies and how they changed her life (and the life of others). She ended the program with a quote she once gave to mothers who had murdered their children. When they asked her how she could look at them without hatred for what they had done, Oprah replied by saying that all pain is the same. That is how she could understand them and the heinous crime they had committed. Their pain was no different from anyone else’s except for the way they acted upon it.
This idea really struck me and helped me to make more sense out of the events that have happened these last two days. Everyone suffers. Everyone has pain. As Buddhists we believe this to be true. Unfortunately, not everyone deals with their pain in the same way. Not everyone has an appropriate outlet or way of dealing with their emotions. Not everyone finds a path that helps them to live honorably with their suffering.
Oprah has worked hard over the years trying to teach others life lessons that they could take away to improve their lives because she believes that when you know better, you act better. She believes that when you have positive ways of dealing with your pain then you will handle your pain in a more positive way.
While it’s difficult to find meaning in senseless or premature death this quote helps me to understand that although mindfulness practice may be helping my life, the best thing I can do with my mindfulness is show other people, with my example, how it can help them to improve their lives as well. Then hopefully tragedies such as the one in Norway and the premature death of Amy Winehouse can become a thing of the past.
Is there anyone in your life today that could use some help dealing with their pain?
- On Amy Winehouse, parents, and camp kids (writteninc.blogspot.com)