At times we may wish to get off the wheel but short of death,
we cannot. To control the intensity of the experiences of the
wheel we must become centered.

As we move towards the center, we enter into right relationship
with the that which is greater than the self. This is a move out of
our self-centered nature and into relationship with God where
strength and power are found. Even when we are centered, we
continue to go through the circle of changes.

Falling, suffering, and hope continue but the happiness may be
deepened into joy. Happiness does not last but joy does.
Joy is a connection to meaning that is found through proper
relationship to God and to others.

Realizing that all of humanity is on the Wheel of Life empowers
us to engage in compassionate understanding and action
towards others. Knowing that we are all on the Wheel of Life
gives a new sense of relationship with others and helps us to
make that move from the rim to the centering principle of life.

Be a Seeker of Joy           
Saints and spiritual leaders of all ages show us what it is like to
journey to the center of the wheel. Mother Theresa’s life is an
example of how to give up happiness to find joy. Her work with
the poorest of the poor who were also sick and dying was a leap
into the midst of suffering. Living in the midst of such misery
could not be described as happy, but appeared to bring a deep
joy into her life. Through her experience of personal sacrifice and
loss while steadfastly holding to hope, faith was made manifest.
Love is the overall container holding all of this together. This style
of living presented others with the challenge to do the same, and
the Sisters of Mercy came into being and transformed lives -
both of the givers and the receivers.

Live a Full Life            
It is essential to psychological and spiritual growth that we fully
experience life. This includes the suffering of life, which is the
living through of loss and change. We must go through this
suffering and not try to circumvent the experience by going
around, under, or over it. In order to grow one has to confront and
engage suffering. Our psychological and spiritual reality is that
"brokenness" leads to "openness" and that through suffering we
are opened to change. Meister Eckhardt, the Medieval mystic,
said that, "Suffering is the swiftest steed that brings us to
perfection." Perfection must be understood to mean wholeness
and completion. If through such suffering we allow ourselves to
embrace the sorrow of life then it may be transformed into the joy
of meaningful relationships characterized by faith and centered in
love for God, our ourselves, and our neighbors.

To learn more about the Wheel of Life and its message about
suffering, strength, happiness, and hope visit:

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The eMagazine For Women
March 2007
Seeking Joy on
The Wheel Of Life
A researcher observed a young butterfly’s exertion and struggle
to get out of its cocoon. He thought he would help and used a
scalpel to make a small slit in the cocoon, thus easing the
butterfly’s task. Soon, however, he discovered the butterfly could
not fly; its wings had not been strengthened through the effort of
escape. The butterfly died because it was not strong enough to
become airborne.

In a similar manner the struggle and suffering we encounter in
life can be strengthening. If it is avoided then our lives may lack
the strength and resolve needed to seek and engage
transformation. Psychological and spiritual growth is always
difficult. It is like the birth process in which something new
comes into existence. A new level of maturity is brought into
being. Birth involves struggle and with struggle comes not only
suffering but strength.

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