Self-Help Success Story: Leta Hamilton: “I Realized That Suffering Is My Friend”

Contributor: Author Leta Hamilton, whose books include The Way of the Toddler and a four-book series called 100 Daily Messages.

Me: You once told me that “God is in the poopy diapers.” We were talking about motherhood and such, and you said it casually, but it stuck with me. What exactly did you mean by that?

Leta: David R. Hawkins (Power vs. Force) talks about the perfection of the rusty old garbage can. It is old and rusty, but it is perfect as that. So I think about my life like that. When I have to walk to dog as I did this morning and I think to myself, “I don’t want to be walking this dog,” I am perfectly perfect in that sweet desire not to be doing what I am doing. It is like the rusty garbage can–rusty AND perfect.

When I ask myself, “What do I want?” these answers come up: I want to be with God. I want to expand. I want to find ways to go deeper inside myself and discover new epiphanies along the way.

So what does God do? Gives me opportunities for that. When I see this, I see how the walking of the dog is an answer to that prayer. I see how my kids are the Universe bringing me what I wanted in the form of spiritual supply. I see how the poopy diapers and 4 a.m. wake-up time for the dog to go out are exactly what I had asked for.

Perfect, perfect, perfect IS the rusty garbage can, the dog that I don’t really want, the work in the evening to get homework done when I all I want to do is retreat away from kids for a while and so much more I call “imperfect.”

I have these feelings like, “ugh,” at walking the dog. I think about them, acknowledge them and then see how they are opportunities for me to expand through insights and epiphanies. I realized this morning how win-win it is to walk the dog even though I wanted to be anywhere else! I also checked out a Tich Nach Han CD from the library & he was talking about walking meditations and I focused on that this morning too.

When I had this epiphany it came mostly because I was desperate for a pee. I realized that when I had to pee, I had to focus entirely on getting myself to a place where I could go pee. All that was in my mind was, “Make it back to the car, get the dog in the car and get into Value Village where there is a bathroom.” I was focused in that suffering. I had no other room in my mind for any other thoughts. Then I thought about how liberating suffering can be. It focuses the mind. It creates the conditions where nothing else is flooding us other than that one, focused, thought. I was grateful. I wasn’t busy in my mind. I was truly meditating. It was a meditation of suffering and it was very focusing. Then, I realized that once I peed, I’d have all this space in my mind to be bogged down with all kinds of other thoughts like, “What are we going to have for dinner?” I thought about the moment of freedom from my suffering, but that would also allow a new kind of suffering to come in–the suffering of the busy, chattering, monkey mind.

I realized that suffering was my friend also. It was just as much a part of my liberation as my moments of peace in the heart. When I have expansive perspective, I see that suffering and peace are the same. They are both focus and awareness, one in the direction of “I don’t want this” and one in the direction of “I do want this.” But the coin is the same: eternal being-ness.

With that, I have to go collect my son from preschool, then get home to the dog, then go grocery shopping, then go home again and …. It’s up in the air, but it will be okay however it works out. Hope I don’t find poop in the house when I get back, but I might and it’s going to be a perfect thing no matter what.



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  1. Mr. Han also talked about sitting under a tree taking 1/2 hr to eat 1 chocolate chip cookie. That is meditation.
    And that wonderful book title: “After Ecstasy, the laundry”. I may never read that book. The title tells me all I want to know.

    1. Hi Celine! Did you want to go ahead and subscribe to this series? Since it ended, you’ll have to just read the old posts at your convenience. Thank you so much.