What it means to say that everything is perfect.
The greatest kindness we can ever do is simply to allow ourselves to see clearly.
Does that sound implausible? Bear with me.
In every moment of every day, the truth is screaming to be heard. It is present all around us, at all times. There is this idea that enlightenment is difficult because the truth is subtle, not obvious, difficult to see.
It is difficult to see, but the reason it is difficult to see is not that it is hidden, but rather that to see the unvarnished truth requires a kind of bravery in surrender that is deeply frightening.
Here is the problem: if I truly allow myself to see the world’s pain, in its fullness, how can I bear it? The pain is more than any one person can bear. So how can I, one person, bear it? It feels impossible, and so rather than bearing it, the natural thing to do is to deny it, to say “that’s the world’s pain, not my pain.”
But when we all deny it, then the pain just stays, and gets worse.
And of course, part of the world’s pain is my pain. My own pain. I am getting old. I will die. Those I love will die. Perhaps I will leave them alone; to me that is a worse fear than my own death. But it is also what might happen.
So there is again a tendency to turn away from this. Why not enjoy today? Tomorrow will come in its own time.
But in fact when we do this, what we are really doing is living in fear. We know, we always know, that we are turning away from what is. And we know why. And so in every moment, as we try to pretend things are other than they are, we feel pain, fear, less fullness even in the most joyous moments, because these moments occur in the valley of the shadow of death.
What we don’t realize when we turn away from the truth is that the only way to ever live without fear is to stop turning away from the truth. To see things as they are, not as we wish they were. Might it be that if I saw things as they are, I would have to throw away my whole life and start something different? Maybe. Maybe that would be okay.
But to see things as they truly are is not only to see all of the problems, but also to see all the beauty and the possibility.
Yes, every one I love is going to die, and so am I. And yet here we are. Isn’t this wonderful, that we are all here together? Today is a great day, a day when those we love, those who have not died yet, are here.
Yes, the world is full of people suffering. And no matter what I do, I can’t change that.
That is the truth. To see that truth, clearly, without turning away from it, to accept it, that is power. Because now that I see what I can’t do, I can stop thinking that it is my job to do that, and instead do the small things I can do. It is because we don’t do these things that there is so much pain in the world.
So yes, the kindest thing to do is to see. To not turn away.