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Spending time in pain

From Holly Roach Knight


The contemplative builds our capacity to sit with adverse emotions, not judge them but be present to them.

Video Interview Transcript

One of our teachers at the Living School for Action and Contemplation, James Findlay, says that the brokenness is where God's light gets into the world. Pain matures us spiritually and emotionally. It makes us better people. We develop skills of resilience. We learn from our experiences of being present to pain.
And so the contemplative really builds our capacity to sit with adverse emotions and to not judge them but just be present to them. And if we can do that on an individual level just think how much better we can be present to the pain that exists in the world.
And so much of the perpetuation of pain is from people turning away from it. They are not willing to look at you know the impacts of corporations that only care about making money. They don't care about the quality of life of the communities or the ecosystems that they're doing business in.
And so many people just aren't willing to look at it. And how can we fix it, how can we heal it, if we're not willing to look at it. We have to be willing to spend time in pain. And it's not fun you know. It's not a good experience necessarily but it's a worthwhile experience because it illuminates things to us about how the world ought to be. And we have to see how it ought to be in order to find a pathway to get it there.

Discussion starter questions
  • How do you cope with your adverse emotions?
  • ...

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Director's note

Holly tells us how she learned to look at her adverse emotions. What
does brokenness has to teach us?

Explore more videos from Holly Roach Knight
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  • The contemplative has helped me with my thoughts and feelings

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