Thursday, April 29, 2010

Our Mourning Hearts

Have you ever tried to divide a coin down the middle? I mean, cut it so there is only a head side to the coin and a tail side? I know that is a stupid question to ask. Even if we accomplished the feat, there would still be two sides to the coin. You cannot have a coin without two sides, no matter how hard you try. If there was ever a description of life, I don't know what else could be better!!

I think of all the times I thought that life was supposed to be painless or perfect. That the disappointment that came my way...or the heartache or sadness, or loss, or pain...was somehow a fluke or a bad joke being played on me. We have a particularly myopic view of life in the Western world. If you tend to be an optimist, maybe you think that bad things never should happen. If you are a pessimist, then you believe that only bad things happen. The Truth...not the little "t" truth but the big "T" truth, is that life is a full, whole complete coin. Even if you try to cut it in half to eliminate one side, it simply cannot be done.

Buddhists have a beautiful expression that goes something like this: "In order to to live fully we must first learn how to die." (Please forgive me my Buddhist friends if I have misquoted this!) But in essence, the idea is to accept impermanence and embrace life for all its foibles and joys. I spent a great deal of my life pushing  my pain away or trying to control my circumstances so I could avoid pain. It never served me. In fact, it dropped me, head first, into the boiling oil of what I was trying to avoid. If your voice mourns half of your life, then think of all the life you have not lived. Every day is a gift...that is why they call it the present. I  hope you wake up tomorrow and open your gift and love every part of it!

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