Susanne Marie writes occasional short articles she calls Reality Bites. I particularly enjoyed this one:
“Sometimes the only way to be free of something is to allow yourself to be fully trapped. Our desire to escape suffering creates it’s own bondage. Most of us are initially drawn to spirituality with the understandable desire to feel better and in general to be released from suffering.
But this desire in itself plays into the belief that something needs to be done about how we are feeling. That we need to somehow disappear a feeling by replacing it with bliss or peace, or whatever we imagine freedom to be.
But the truth of reality is that all is One. Which means that what you are feeling and trying to escape is part of totality. By wishing something away, we are setting ourselves up to be at odds with an aspect of ourselves. Truth is inclusive, meaning that what you are feeling and experiencing is included in what you are.
As we mature spiritually, we gain the understanding that healing occurs by opening. In this doing there is a momentary surrender to allowing things to be exactly as they are, including the feeling of being swallowed up or trapped by what we are resisting.
This goes against everything that we have been taught and modeled collectively. We are conditioned to move away from being uncomfortable and to soothe or medicate ourselves to numb the pain. If spirituality is used in this way, it will quickly backfire as we grow weary of the unsustainabilty of chasing one spiritual experience after another.
We are evolving in our understanding of what freedom actually means. To be free of something does not mean to spiritually bypass pain by replacing it with a more pleasurable experience.
It is time to reevaluate what freedom looks like. To me freedom is the embrace of yourself exactly as you are.”
– The Wisdom of No Escape, Reality Bites by Susanne Marie
(I did not write this article so will not have a spoken version.)