1. Truth: Some issues cannot be solved through abstinence. I offer up myself and my “life-rehab” as a specific example of this. The difficulties I am currently working with are that I have been in a long term abusive relationship, with myself, and need to learn how to relate to myself differently, to heal that relationship. Also, as I mentioned just the other day, I have a damaged and distorted relationship with food. In both cases, I cannot simply abstain. I can’t abstain from eating or relating to myself. I would die.
2. Truth: Difficulties such as these require continued effort and sustained practice. You have to keep trying, keep showing up and doing the work, practice, and even start over when necessary, stay with it, and ask for help. “To stay, you have to believe there is something worth staying for…and then you have to bring yourself back, again and again,” Geneen Roth.
3. Truth: Things are workable, and you already have what it will take to succeed. You have basic, innate kindness and wisdom. You know who you are.
“In Buddhist teachings, as well as in the teachings of many other contemplative or mystical traditions, the basic view is that people are fundamentally good and healthy. It’s as if everyone who has ever been born has the same birthright, which is enormous potential of warm heart and clear mind. The ground of renunciation is realizing that we already have exactly what we need, that what we have already is good. Every moment of time has enormous energy in it, and we could connect with that.” ~Pema Chödrön
One wish: I wish you, all of us, the joy that comes with this hard work, of being who we are, of loving who we are, all the messy and stinky and beautiful bits. Our difficulties aren’t something to rush through or get over or past, but rather they are our life, they are living. Despair and even happiness are simply the weather and our basic goodness the sun, always there even when we can’t see it.
“It doesn’t matter how long we may have been stuck in a sense of our limitations. If we go into a darkened room and turn on the light, it doesn’t matter if the room has been dark for a day, a week, or ten thousand years — we turn on the light and it is illuminated. Once we control our capacity for love and happiness, the light has been turned on.” ~Sharon Salzberg
- Okay, it’s your turn. Speak your truths and make a wish.