in Buddhism, it is said there are three root causes of suffering. there is ignorance, there is attachment, and there is aversion.
aversion can also be understood as aggression, or pushing away. we find something uncomfortable, so we push it away – sometimes aggressively or violently. this can be especially true with painful experiences, but pain not healed or transformed can turn into hate and bring both us and others much suffering. and as Baldwin points out so wisely, with such aversion to our pain, we can then become attached to our hate, perpetually cycling suffering.
the Franciscan Priest Richard Rohr has said similar in his often repeated phrase, “What we don’t transform, we transmit.”
the good news is, love (which i’d define here as courage, generosity, and spaciousness) has the capacity to transform our pain. and the other good news is that we don’t have to go far to find it. it’s right here already, within our own tender heart.
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