I recently listened to a conversation on “You Can Heal Your Life Summit”, organized by Hay House Publishing. Robert Holden from England and Rabbi Steve Leder from Los Angeles were discussing the gems found in More Beautiful Than Before—How suffering transforms us.
Rabbi Steve Leder wrote this book with gratitude in mind. A serious accident left him in pain and incapacitated him for months. During this time, he experienced intense suffering in his mind, in his heart and in his physical body. He was confronted first-hand with not only physical pain, but also depression, powerlessness, apathy, disengagement and so on.
With a congregation of ten thousand members, Steve had many opportunities to counsel.
He mentioned that after his recovery, he was able to really tune in to his congregates’ needs and feelings. He became more compassionate and more real because of his new understanding of the human condition. He could tune-in to his own experience and relate to what the other in front of him was feeling and sharing with him. The intellectual understanding had switched to a visceral knowledge.
One of the many gems I recall from this conversation was the reason for the suffering is one thing, but to understand the purpose is another. How can our life be worthy of our suffering? Can we apply what we have learned in our work? In our relationships with our friends and companions?
Another gem was God places His words upon our hearts, but the words get in only, when our heart is broken. This sentence gave me the chills.
Rabbi Leder was such an example. I could hear him and feel his newly acquired compassion.
What a beautiful conversation it was. I recommend this book whole-heartedly.