Some days, we might have trouble seeing the light. Bad things happen — someone we love dies, floods and storms ravage homes and hearts, we make a mistake and can’t seem to forgive ourselves — and we can’t find our way out. Just last week, Brave Love posted on Facebook,
In truth, good news seems to be scarce this week. On top of all of the headlines, there was an incident of brutal domestic violence in my neighborhood … All of that to say, I’m wondering if there is some good news or some brave news in your life. I would love to hear about it.
To which I responded,
I know it can feel like this sometimes, but life is brutal AND beautiful, terrible AND tender. Today, the sun is shining in Colorado, the rain has stopped, and people are helping each other deal with the aftermath of the flooding. We are reminded that when bad things happen, we can help or be helped, we are connected, and even in the darkest moment, we can be together, make each other laugh, build something that can’t be broken. ♥
To find the light doesn’t mean denying the dark. There are shadows everywhere, in and outside of us, night is every bit as natural as day. Sanity, wisdom and compassion requires that we make room for both, that we can hold and allow both. As Pema Chödrön says, “Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.”
My wish for all of us today, kind and gentle reader, is that we find the light even as we know the truth of being sad or lost, that we know we are the magic and the medicine, that we can be present and open, brave enough to touch our tender heart of sadness, stay with what Louis C.K. calls that “forever empty,” and find the light on the other (in)side.
As Pema Chödrön says, “Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.”
What a quote. It hit me straight in my third eye.
She’s brilliant like that. 🙂
Here’s more of it: “Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that’s all that’s happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness–life’s painful aspect–softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody’s eyes because you feel you haven’t got anything to lose–you’re just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We’d be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn’t have enough energy to eat an apple. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.”
Golly I wished you lived near me…
Pingback: Something Good | A Thousand Shades of Gray