Anxiety, heartbreak, and tenderness mark the in-between state.
It’s the kind of place we usually want to avoid.
The challenge is to stay in the middle rather than buy into struggle and complaint.
The challenge is to let it soften us rather than make us more rigid and afraid.
Quote: Pema Chödrön
When there’s a big disappointment,
we don’t know if that’s the end of the story.
It may just be the beginning of a great adventure.
Quote: Pema Chödrön
Photo: James Wheeler on Pexels.com
Sticking with uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic – this is the spiritual path.
– Pema Chödrön
So much uncertainty. I have tried to write but it is hard for the words to form sentences. Living through this moment in time, is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced.
I try to stay busy. I gratefully speak to my mother and father and sister each day (and give thanks for FaceTime). I call my brother far away. I stay in touch with friends. I sit on my new screened-in porch. I watch winter move aside for spring.
But I cannot plan. I stay in each moment knowing it’s the only moment I have. There is no illusion that everything is OK. It is easy to feel overwhelmed. I want to do something but what. I want to have hope but how. I see nature’s beauty around me and want to share it. Now is not the time but when.
We all want answers. We all want solutions. Answers and solutions are not easy to find right now. Be gentle, be honest – one day to the next.
Grateful for this wisdom from Diana Butler Bass:
“Living in the present moment is a skill and a grace. There is much wisdom in Jesus’ words: “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:34).
Advice: Don’t do more than you need to do. Address only what needs to be addressed today. The best thing most of us can do is to stop the spread by distancing, advocate for those who may be most endangered, and provide what help can be given to neighbors. Otherwise, a virus pandemic is not something we can control or fix. We can manage one day at a time, one step at a time. Breathe.
That’s what I know and my big advice. Feel what you feel. Mix in love and gratitude even if that seems hard or impossible. Take responsibility for by what you can and don’t try to fix what is beyond your control. Embrace the day.
And know that you are not alone.”
How often do you find yourself in a situation that brings up feelings you thought you had resolved long ago! Life lessons often seem to re-appear still full of new perspectives and teaching. These are the ‘teachings’ offered when we find ourselves in old, familiar discussions; you know, the conversations that are filled with those same words that clench our stomachs once again. These are the ‘teachings’ offered in situations when we are faced with memories of times in our past, memories that rise at the oddest times to re-stir earlier feelings of hurt or deep longing for what is-no-more.
Often we spend hours sitting with counsel in hopes to “work out” these feelings from our past or to practice changing the unhealthy ways of relating to people in our lives today. Those hours spent in reflection are not time ill spent. Awareness is important to health and well-being. Yet if our goal is to have the past be neatly resolved – never to bother us again – we will continue to be disappointed.
As every small finger and button nose of a new-born child remains and is a part of growth into adulthood, ever important to the forming of a whole and healthy person; so must the stories (the celebrations and sorrows) be a part of us, making us wholly (holy) and unique. The words are wise – shared with us from the great Buddhist teacher, Pema Chodron – the things we need to know are waiting to clear our hearts and calm our spirits. Yes, the learning is hard work and sometimes painful but we need not feel alone — the world is filled with ‘students’ on this path.
When we find one another, may we offer greetings of welcome and compassion.