"Where there is ruin, there is hope for a treasure.” - Rumi
Life is easy... said no one ever.
It seems as though life is nothing but a long series of tradeoffs, compromises, and unmarked crossroads. The thing that seemed to be so perfect and smooth turns out to be full of rough edges and pointy parts.
And it leaves us with a deep psychic dilemma:
Do we lose that romantic idealization of our youth and become jaded or perhaps even cynical?
Do we check out on our deepest desires and settle for what is practical or "the best you can do"?
Do we wander endlessly from one exciting beginning to another in hopes of finding perfection?
Do we overlook disappointment with the stoic "Grow up? Face reality?"
Do we reframe, revise history, resent, relive?
As I said, no answer satisfies. Every answer we come up with is just a concession to the bewilderment we feel when confronted with life as it is.
"Life is a balance between holding on and letting go." - Rumi
The actual answer is far less tidy and offers a challenge to even the stoutest heart. How to be wounded and bruised by life and still maintain the childlike wonder of the mystery of it?
I confess, I do not have a clear answer to offer. For me it has become a moment by moment engagement, looking for the very best this moment can offer while knowing that I can only choose from the options presented. I cannot wave a magic wand or invoke some metaphysical law that will make everything as I want it. You play the hand and then the next and then the next and then the next...
One of the ways I do that is by doing what I am doing right now, writing my thoughts on this electronic paper. I will be headed to the airport today, to begin my trek back to the US. It is bittersweet. My sons are eager to see their father and my granddaughter already has extensive plans for the two of us. Yet I leave behind experiences and friends who have become a part of me.I leave open and broken hearted.
I wasn't planning on going all the way back to Seattle. But, life in its irreverent use of curve balls, "happens when we're busy making other plans." Yet this travel has changed me. It has also confused me. It has also inspired me. It has also reconnected me. It has also confounded me. it has shown me what a precious and fragile thing the human heart is.
So now I feebly attempt to reconcile the various energies within me through the catharsis of the written word, one of the consistently effective ways in which I slow down the flow of mind and find the nuggets of gold in the river of thought.
So I call them touch choices. Actually the choices themselves are quite easy. They are even obvious. But what is tough is reconciling our deeply held desires as to how things should go with the way things actually go. This is the day-by-day spiritual practice that we all have to accept.
"Enlightenment is the total surrender to the inevitable." - Anthony de Mello
And it is a spiritual practice. Anytime we are engaged in the the surrendering of our own desires and notions as to how things should be, no matter how deeply held or deeply desired, we are confronting the existential question and seeking an answer to the actual nature of existence.
This is always spiritual. Spiritual is not other worldly. It is not esoteric. It is not about a relationship with a super being with all its rules and threats. It is about aligning ourselves with what is. And the best teacher of what is, is the life you are living right this moment, with all its ambiguity and bewildering blind siding.
So I persist in the every moment practice of accepting the inevitable and yet remaining the hopeless romantic, the wide-eyed idealist. And I remember and am reminded that life is benevolent. It has only one purpose. To turn you toward the path that leads to the ultimate destination we all seek. The home that is within the heart.
"The wintery blasts of earth may uproot the flowers of affection and scatter them to the wind. But this severance of earthly ties serves to unite the heart more closely to God. For Love supports the struggling heart until it ceases to sigh over the world and begins to unfold its wings for heaven." - Mary Baker Eddy
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