“Rather than letting our negativity get the better of us, we could acknowledge that right now we feel like a piece of shit and not be squeamish about taking a good look. That’s the compassionate thing to do. That’s the brave thing to do. We could smell that piece of shit. We could feel it; what is its texture, color, and shape? We can explore the nature of that piece of shit. We can know the nature of dislike, shame, and embarrassment and not believe there’s something wrong with that.”― Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times
How can holding discomforts close, as close as breath, aspects that aren’t charming or inspiring or blissful, be healing? Is that a path of the Bodhisattva? Can humility be a portal to the heart? Shame? Sometimes, the raw edges of life weep with dark thoughts and emotions that feel heavy. The worst of these are ugly. My inclination is to dismiss them as inconsequential. Believing that I can bypass my fears and doubts is the stinkiest shit around. Having a teacher with deep knowing of his own dark places, who offers compassion and staying power, inspires me. A little humor always helps too. Intuitively, I recognize that “never not now”, means a universal yes to all experience. I can be brave, a little at a time.
My spirit guide gently encourages me to “…stay curious and stay alive”. She reminds me we are never alone. So, following my curiosity, I returned to explore Brooklyn this weekend. There’s a mysterious sense of belonging. It’s interesting how comforting a place can be that feels familiar, even when it isn’t. There may be some purpose for me there…time will tell. This experience certainly makes life interesting.
At the end of the day, although there is much left unresolved, everything merges into gratitude. I feel blessed. Another way of sinking into the heart…