In the midst of pain, I was released. I was comforted. I was content. The pain did not vanish, and in retrospect it could not – for it was the gateway for the divine comforting. Without that portal, there was no route by which the higher love could flow into my lower self. I know what it is to be painfully content.
Can one be content without having known pain? Can one be whole without ever having been wounded?
The vehicles we detest in ourselves – suffering, cowardice, tyranny, mercilessness, for example – carry the higher vehicles. Or, perhaps better said, the lower are the shadows of the higher. In duality, one adores the eagle but denies his shadow. In unity, there is no difference between the two.
There is no courage without cowardice. While you did not fear, you could not overcome your fear. Therefore, strive not to be fearless… but polish your courage and know that your worldly form can be no better than cowardly courageous. Cowardice and courage are the parents of faith, and absolute faith is fearlessness.
There is no compassion without tyranny. If you did not insist on inner oppressive rule over the habits and desires of your conditioning, you could not reach across all canyons with your compassion. We must cruelly refuse the abandoned child within on occasion. So polish your compassion and know that your worldly form can be no better than tyrannically compassionate. Tyranny and compassion are the parents of charity, and absolute charity is selflessness.
The work of meditation and mindfulness is not to abolish some parts of self and run after others. We must not sit forever trying to tear the shadow away from the eagle. To run from suffering is suffering, and to sit waiting for suffering to leave is suffering. To run after God is suffering, and to sit waiting for God to visit is suffering. But to accept suffering is to accept God, because wounded eyes perceive the shadow of God as suffering. But, through the acceptance of suffering, those wounded eyes heal.
What is it to be painfully content? To be mindful, in the first, and then to have a winged spirit fly up and out of the suffering. A phoenix escapes and flies free in the open air. It must burn and fall, but there is no difference between that burning and the inevitable resurrection. The Beloved whispers about this when He kisses your cheek.
To be painfully content is to have a heart swollen to bursting with gladness.