There is always a gift, always. When we’re seemingly thrown over a cliff or shoved against a wall, there is a gift, (smashed nose too, maybe).
I’m thinking this evening about fate and the necessity for (or advantage of), perspective. I’ve watched, felt really, my mind and my body take grand shifts of perspective and feeling this very week. I was then drawn to a book on my shelf by the oh so interesting writer and white Christian gal turned Buddhist, Pema Chodron, (some of my favorite books of hers found here). Her books, any of them, have aways assisted me through great changes in my life and certainly adversity. Ms. Chodron’s thinking is like a beacon of moonlight, making the world and my existence in it, luminescent and divine.
I like to open a book and see what page is presented me. Last evening as I picked up her book, ‘Comfortable with Uncertainty’, which I’d bought awhile back and just hadn’t read yet, (It wasn’t time), I came across the following:
‘The essence of generosity is letting go. Pain is always a sign that we are holding on to something -usually ourselves. When we feel unhappy, when we feel inadequate, we get stingy; we hold on tight. Generosity is an activity that loosens us up. By offering whatever we can-a dollar, a flower, a word of encouragement-we are training in letting go….The main point isn’t so much what we give, but that we unlock our habit of clinging.’
I couldn’t help but close the book and open again to another page. I hit right on the page entitled, ‘Thinking Bigger’. I liked that.
‘To cultivate equanimity we practice catching ourselves when we feel attraction or aversion, before it hardens into grasping or negativity. We train in staying with the soft spot and use our biases as stepping-stones for connection with the confusion of others. Strong emotions are useful in this regard. Whatever arises, no matter how bad it feels, can be used to extend our kinship to others who suffer the same kind of aggression or craving-who, just like us, get hooked by hope and fear. This is how we come to appreciate that everyone’s in the same boat. We all desperately need more insight into what leads to happiness and what leads to pain.’
After reading only a few paragraphs I felt the energy around me expand, grow bigger, with more breathing space, a sense of grace having arrived perhaps. I took a deep breath and considered the thought that what happens in life, especially the ‘straws that break the varitable camel’s back’, they are all catalysts of sorts, all perhaps angels masquerading as disaster, fear, worry, panic and stress. These naughty distractors are just earth angels in disguise, catalysts and marauders of only good, leading us to where we’re meant to go, if we but listen and equally important, trust. Trust!
Consider that when your heart next falls to your ankles and your mind is filled only with fear, guilt about how you could have done better and dread. Then go hug a big fat oak tree, honestly, do it. If you don’t feel better, (and you need to hang there a moment or two), call me. Nature is perfect and a force worth modeling and hanging out with awhile. Trust me on THAT one!