This is a rather bizarrely illustrated blog, so I hope you can bear with me! It starts in the MRI scanner I inhabited today (for a minor tmj complaint) but as I was trapped in the cylinder, my mind and body seemed to connect to those who might ever have found themselves trapped by evil intent and even tortured. I entered into the experience of suffering for the 30 mins that I was inside and I felt connected to those who suffer torture in this world. I felt their anguish and pain and it felt right to lend my mind and body to their plight rather than my own drives and desires for this short time. Maybe this is what it means to share in the sufferings of others.
But this dynamic works in the positive realm too. The idea of ‘sharing what others experience’ started in a Sainsbury’s car park 5 years ago when I saw an old Omega car! To be honest the car is completely irrelevant or has an ironic relevance, for to me, the Omega is anything but inspiring as a model of car! Yet I had a ‘revelation’, a moment when an enlightened thought dropped into my mind at the same moment my attention rested upon this unprovidential car parked opposite mine. I was having a ‘desperate moment’ (or probably day or week for that matter) as we were recovering from the effects of my husbands rather devastating brain tumour and I felt hopeless and depressed as I walked back to the car. Yet the thought was this: “I think there actually are people in this world who do have ‘hope’, so that means ‘hope exists’”. That was pretty much it. But at a deep level it gave me hope knowing that if hope could exist and could be accessed by others, then it could also be accessed by me too. My spirits lifted and it has been an important thought in my thinking life. If something exists, something abstract like hope or peace or fullness and others can access it, then that means I might too. So notice the things that are good, beautiful and true and know that if they exist in the lives of others, then they exist on earth and surely they can find their way into our own hearts too.