Friday, February 5, 2010


When speaking of tolerance, I am referring to both; forbearance, the capacity to endure pain or hardship and the act of allowing. Having the fortitude to withstand suffering and being tolerant of people with different beliefs than our own are both integral parts of spiritual evolution. Having faith, being able to accept, and being able to forgive all contribute to our strength of tolerance.

Faith is the cornerstone of all virtues. Faith does not mean following blindly. It is an internal awareness, a knowing. It is belief in a Higher Consciousness. This knowing allows us to exercise acceptance. Acceptance sounds so passive. It can conjure up an image of weakness, when actually it is a great strength. In times of great difficulty, acceptance is the first step toward progression.

The Darkest Hours

The darkness is upon you
As it has been, so many times before.
You remember yesterday
And all that it has brought you.
You look into tomorrow
And wonder what’s in store.

The day is done.
The night has now begun.

From the eerie night, your dreams run wild,
Making spirit sore and anxieties compile,
With thoughts of fear and sorrow.
Oh these darkest hours; only a break in time
To test your spirit and your mind,
In preparation for tomorrow.

During this temporary state,
While conscience lays in wait,
Allow yourself to be replenished..
Unleash your mind,
From the burdens of the day.
Use this time to remind yourself
things will be okay.

Appreciate the darkness.
You know it can not last.
Time comes and goes so fast.
Brief is the moment of darkness,
Compared to the blinding light.
Embrace the darkness.
Do not fear the night.

From these darkest hours,
Build strength and courage
To face a brighter day.
Be ready for the morning
The dawn is on its way.

Darkness represents suffering. There are many forms of suffering. Negative emotions, including, loneliness, depression and hate, cause discomfort and pain. These emotions are reactions to experiences we encounter. The suffering is caused by the emotional reaction, not the experience. It is easy to blame the situation for our reaction. Instead of finding blame or excuses for our situation, perhaps we can look for the best response to better ourselves. Often, suffering is seen as some karmic punishment. This can create a sentiment of blaming victims; If something bad happens, it was a self imposed reflection of thoughts or behaviors. People get understandably defensive when they think someone is telling them the bad things that happen to them are a punishment for something they did. Karma is more than just punishment and reward. Bad things do happen to good people. How we react to them can either enrich our lives or hinder our progress. We all go through dark times. That experience can be different to everyone. By embracing our experiences, good or bad, and learning from them, we find that we can grow from any situation. As we do, the darkness becomes just a cycle of life. We do not need to fear. As we grow through the darkness, we gain a greater appreciation for the light. The more we appreciate, the more we seem to have to appreciate.

This evening, my wife Renee and I saw a movie theater production of Dr. Wayne Dyer's, 'Wishes Fulfilled', with good friends. It was a wonderful experience. I will be writing much more about it. He spoke briefly on this topic of suffering and the great inspiration that has come from it. Earlier that night, we were talking about another friend who wanted to share her poetry, but she was afraid to express pain and darkness, when I am only writing positive stuff.  She inspired me to write this blog tonight to discuss tolerance. More than fortitude, I wanted to emphasize acceptance and non-judgment. I hope everyone who reads this will feel not only comfortable, but encouraged to share your comments, thoughts, or feelings. This is a judgment free zone.