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Caught in Emotional Webs

I have a deep fear of spiders. It is my belief that every feature they possess is to instill fear in the human mind. The idea of a spider being near me is uncomfortable, it is nearly impossible for me to sleep when I consider that there is one in my room, watching me. But, I do begrudgingly acknowledge spiders serve a very important role in our ecosystem. So, spiders and I have come to a truce. As long as they eat bugs and don’t get near me, I will tolerate their terrifying presence. In a similar way, some of us look at certain emotions as we do spiders. We live with emotions like sadness, anger, and fear, even though their presence makes us uncomfortable. Our society tells us that certain f

Transforming Pain

“If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it.” That’s a saying from Richard Rohr, the Catholic teacher whose wisdom on suffering, aging, self-knowledge and peacemaking has shaped the thinking of many spiritual seekers and leaders in our time. If you ponder his words, it’s easy to think of examples where we ‘transmit’ our pain. You’ve heard the saying, “Hurt people hurt people.” That’s it in a nutshell. Transmitting our pain is the act of repeating the harm that has been done to us. If my pride is wounded, or I feel betrayed, or I am attacked, I lash out. Maybe I hurt the person who hurt me, or maybe I hurt someone else, whoever is the unlucky soul nearby when I’m fe

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