“Look into your own heart, discover what it is that gives you pain and then refuse, under any circumstance whatsoever, to inflict that pain on anybody else.” Karen Armstrong
I read a lot, but I’m sorry to say that I wasn’t familiar with Karen Armstrong’s work until I came across her powerful words of wisdom. I’ve read similar comments by saints, teachers, and other masters who have lived through crises and have suffered. But this particular quote encourages me and brings me comfort while articulating so well the Golden Rule of doing unto others as we’d have done to us. Yet Armstrong’s ‘sound’ twenty-seven words are as profound a representation of that rule as can be! This practice and way of living will have a tremendous impact on anyone’s life who tries it. I hope you begin to trust this approach because I have found this way of living to be infallible.
In my writing, I repeat messages with the same intent and meaning. I’ve been told that my writings are always along the same lines and I’ve been asked why I still mention these things on a daily basis. The answer is that this incredible quote came to my attention and it stimulated my passion to write about our good fortune in having direct contact with such a great technique for living. I can’t even begin to tell you how much time is wasted searching for the answers to our riddles everywhere but where the truth lies. It’s because the real answers are too simple for us because we tend to ignore what the signs are actually telling us. They are right in front of us in every relationship or encounter we have! Armstrong’s quote is a powerful guidepost for anyone, regardless of our education, wealth, health, age, or life situations. Sadly, we might have to suffer a major crisis before we finally understand its lesson. Eventually we get the point that scripture has been making all along. Do unto others. Yet this is still the biggest secret because it is hidden deep inside each of us. It’s only truly revealed when we can associate with another heart.
I have learned to trust this different way of living after my own deep crisis. And it’s worked for most of my life. I believe this is the genuine meaning of being true to yourself and really living the Golden Rule. We all meet our own deep-rooted pain at one time or another. When it happens, I hope you’ll remember Armstrong’s words because they’re actually meant to relieve us of our pain and bring us happiness. When we respond with an action to help ease others’ suffering, pain, or needs, we are actually working towards the well-being of everyone. We all begin to ‘thrive’ regardless of where we are in our lives or whatever our profession. We learn to trust that our own pain, sorrow, needs, and desires are being met by God. We don’t have to take a magic pill for relief, or keep filling ourselves with other things to feel better about ourselves. When we instead look at our pain or loss as a calling and remember that we all have this suffering in common, then our divinity miraculously is uncovered. This is what others have felt who have gone through deep crisis. And the reason I am filled with passion and wonder to write once again about this is because I continue to see pain or lack around me, and am only relieved by Grace knowing that I now have a responsibility and part to play. I try my best to listen to the divine voice within and look into my heart every time. This is the wonder of hope that I believe will keep health, wealth, and happiness alive. I hope you will remember this approach to life if and when you encounter sorrow in your life.
About Catherine Nagle: Catherine grew up in Philadelphia with 16 brothers and sisters, reared by loving, old-school Italian parents. Catherine’s artist father’s works graced churches and public buildings; her mother was a full-time homemaker. A professional hairdresser, Catherine worked in various salons while studying the Bible and pursuing spiritual growth through courses, seminars, lectures, and the works of Marianne William. She is also a contributor to the Huffington Post. The mother of two children and a grandmother, Catherine lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and son. She is the Author of Imprinted Wisdom and a contributor to These Winter Months: The Late orphan Project Anthology.
Originally published at medium.com