Poor Guanyin. Her father was this totally cruel king, and so she grew surrounding by suffering. One day her dad says to her, "You need to marry this ugly-gross dude over here because he's really rich and powerful and that works for me."
Guanyin's says, "I'll marry him, but only if by doing so my marriage will help solve three problems: the suffering caused by aging, the suffering caused by illness, and the suffering caused by death."
Her dad's like, "What's the fun in marriage if it stops suffering? Put on a white dress. I'm taking you to the temple."
She refuses to marry and eventually guilts her dad into letting her live in a temple. But--Ha-- she only thinks she's guilted her dad out. Her dad has a plan! He tells the nuns to give her the worst work possible and to never let her sleep or rest. Cinderella like, animated baby animals take up her chores. So her dad demands she be executed. Blameless Guanyin takes on her killer's guilt (to spare him) and, now filled with executioner-guy's bad karma, descends to hell, which, in her presence instantly becomes paradise. So obviously the demons running hell don't want her.
She's sent up to Nirvana and is just about to enter when she hears humanity crying out in suffering. She shakes her head and decides to wait at the entrance for the rest of us. Just then, her head explodes and she grows eleven new ones to hear us better. Then her arms explode and she grows 1,000 to hold us better.
Now, we can't all be Guanyin (my one head causes me enough trouble; I can't imagine how I'd torment myself with 11), but we can remember Guanyin's lesson. Suffering is like oxygen. It's the one thing all of us share, and it's not optional. It's part of the E ticket ride that is your life. Our choice isn't to suffer or not to suffer, it's now to respond to the hardships we encounter.
By themselves, copper and tin are soft, so-so looking metals. Combine them and put them in a fire for a long time and you end up with shiny, beautiful, hard--unbreakable--bronze. Leave that bronze out and it develops a gorgeous patina that is always unique. To become like bronze, to become unbreakable and beautiful and ever unique, alas, we must go through the fire. That's what you're doing now, Deb. You're going through the fire. And--hard as it is to believe because you are already lovely and resilient--when you come, you, and your mom, will shine even brighter and stand even taller.
Channel this goddess: When times are time, when every step seems a mile wide, when you need to show a little compassion and mercy to yourself and the people around you.
Need a goddess? I got goddesses! Post a comment explaining what you need or want a goddess for. Check back in a week or two and see what you got! It's fun! It's free! How often can you say that?