August 07-C, 2022

Elk 09 09/25/2009 Oil Paint Rendered — Jasper National Park, Alberta
Suffering, pain,
misery and agony
get all the hype.
"Oh, the pain, the pain!"
"Why the pain?"
"Oh, woe, oh, woe!"

We go on so over 
the suffering and the pain,
that it is hard to tell
where the actual experience
of suffering and pain starts
and the anticipation/dread
of suffering and pain stops.

We agonize over unexperienced agony,
ourselves' and others.'

And can reduce our pain and suffering
just by treating them with 
no more seriousness than they deserve.

This is called "Turning the light around."
Shining the spotlight of our attention
on something other than sorrow and misery--
grace and compassion, say--
shifts our entire world
from gloom and sadness
to kindness and generosity.

Turning the light around
is changing the focus of our attention
and transforming our perspective--
what we tell ourselves
about what we look at,
how we interpret what we see.

And that transforms everything.


Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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