Accepting Life As It Is.
Have you had periods of time in your life where you became super introspective and contemplated life? Haha! Like a lot says anyone in their twenties or more!
The ability to see oneself for who we are seems like the hardest thing to accept. And our society places a high value on youth, pretty things and a luxury life that it feels like a battle to keep your head in a contented space.
The last couple of months for me have been about getting quiet and thinking a lot about what this life all about. As I see a lot of suffering and experience some of it myself I start asking again:
Am I making the greatest impact on society?
Am I giving enough?
Can I be more soft?
Am I able to let others see me for who I am?
What to do with this pain?
And...wait for it...
what is this LIFE all about?
Yikes! Not too light a subject(s) but are quite normal waves of thoughts when things feel in transition. I'm personally relying heavily on Alan Watts, Joseph Campbell, Pema Chodron, and The Dalai Lama through this period. Share with me what you rely on...
The suffering I see close-up are friends and family experiencing their health and financial circumstances in decline. And from afar I see; the homeless, the poor, the neglected, and the disadvantaged. And what I see I cannot un-see and the weight of it becomes more heavy in my bones.
And then reflecting on my own life and I wonder if I made choices that might put me on the same tracks of those I'm witnessing. A student once told me that women have the heaviest sense that they will be abandoned and become homeless more so than men feel. It felt true when she shared that with me. Feels the same now, too. No reason to research it.
Over the years and more recently what I've learned (and what I keep learning!) from Buddhist texts and teachings is that life is hard and then we die (oy vey, Jess c'mon!) BUT, listen, between the hardships, and while in them, enjoy it (**your life**).
Holy moly! It's a tough one to hold on to and you need to have faith that that is true. And that is the other part of it! What anchors you and me is the faith we have of accepting our uncertainties. Because we just don't know and WE ALL don't know despite some people looking sure about it (LIFE) so we need to surrender to that unknown.
And once you accept that information (it becomes part of your daily mediation) you are free from holding yourself in judgment, you are able to look people in the face, your heart opens for all and you can release your grip on greed.
Because you start to be kind, be good, be gentle, show up, be peace, be love, have patience, share, and accept.
I love this quote from The Dalai Lama in An Open Heart, “Recognizing that things have no inherent existence is a profound insight, requiring years of study and mediation.” For me this is the essence of Buddhism: letting go over and over again to what we think we know. We are more than these thoughts and we are much less, too.
This will take years to fully understand but we can practice it now and use faith as our guide to accept things as they are right now, too. Accepting life as it is.