I’m going to put this here partly so I can find it again, and partly because I think it’s really interesting, true, and important (which is basically why I want to be able to find it again).
Only click if you don’t mind gratuitous swearing. I love Mark Manson, but he does have a bit of what my mother would call a “potty mouth.”
Also thinking that the best place to start is to turn all that unconditional love on oneself. [Ommmmm…..]
From “The Famished Road,” by Ben Okri
“…Could these be the reason why I wanted to be born – these paradoxes of things, the eternal changes, the riddle of living while one is alive, the mystery of being, of births within births, death within births, births within dying, the challenge of giving birth to one’s true self, to one’s new spirit, till the conditions are right for the new immutable star within one’s universe to come into existence; the challenge to grow and learn and love, to master one’s self; the possibilities of a new pact with one’s spirit, the probability that no injustice lasts forever, no love ever dies, that no light is ever really extinguished, that no true road is ever complete, that no way is ever definitive, no truth ever final, and that there are never really any beginnings or endings?”
Ah, he asks the tough questions, doesn’t he.
Just joined a meditation/mindfulness group this week. Last night was my first visit. An hour of meditation. I think there might have been 2 minutes of all the little fragments added together where I was only “thinking” about my breath. But I guess it’s a start.
The hour also didn’t feel like seven, so that must mean something.
We were just emailed the subject of the next two weeks, with this blog post attached.
Last night’s guided meditation (after the hour of “just” meditation) was on equanimity. Recognizing that all things rise and fall, and reminding ourselves to observe those things with compassion and balance. I spoke during the discussion on the freeing revelation I had a couple of years ago that I can actually care a great deal about the happiness of the people I love; but that I am not personally responsible for it beyond my own actions.
This sentence from the lionsroar post speaks to me profoundly today as well:
“We free ourselves from what offends us not by turning away from the people with these faults, but by dropping the need to make others responsible for not being how we think they should be.”
You might find him a little irreverent, and his language is a little colorful, but Mark Manson always seems to find a good way to give good advice. This is no exception.
Besides seeming more helpful than a lot of the “just get over it and be happy” crap out there, it also all seems to much more doable.
Each one is a gift, no doubt,
mysteriously placed in your waking hand
or set upon your forehead
moments before you open your eyes.
Today begins cold and bright,
the ground heavy with snow
and the thick masonry of ice,
the sun glinting off the turrets of clouds.
Through the calm eye of the window
everything is in its place
but so precariously
this day might be resting somehow
on the one before it,
all the days of the past stacked high
like the impossible tower of dishes
entertainers used to build on stage.
No wonder you find yourself
perched on the top of a tall ladder
hoping to add one more.
Just another Wednesday,
then holding your breath,
place this cup on yesterday’s saucer
without the slightest clink.
When I die give what’s left of me away
to children and old men that wait to die.
And if you need to cry,
cry for your brother walking the street beside you.
And when you need me, put your arms around anyone
and give them what you need to give me.
I want to leave you something,
something better than words or sounds.
Look for me in the people I’ve known or loved,
and if you cannot give me away,
at least let me live in your eyes and not in your mind.
You can love me best by letting hands touch hands,
and by letting go of children that need to be free.
Love doesn’t die, people do.
So, when all that’s left of me is love,
give me away.
Before I had cancer
I knew I wouldn’t live forever, but thought maybe I might
I cared what other people thought
thanked my feet for carrying me
my kidneys for doing their job
and almost always ate my vegetables.
When I had cancer
I feared I might not live at all
and my eyes cried for days,
and I realized I didn’t really care even what
much less anyone else
and my body felt like a time bomb (traitor) that only I could hear.
After I had cancer
I stopped living all of my unlived lives
and realized that having always done my best
was, actually, having done enough
and I ran into something I didn’t recognize,
but It felt a little like joy
of course, it might be the Lexapro.
But sometimes it seems I’m crying still
in dreams I don’t remember.
“Ours is essentially a tragic age, so we refuse to take it tragically. The cataclysm has happened, we are among the ruins, we start to build up new little habitats, to have new little hopes. It is rather hard work: there is now no smooth road into the future: but we go round, or scramble over the obstacles. We’ve got to live, no matter how many skies have fallen.”
~D.H.Lawrence; Lady Chatterly’s Lover
One of the most beautiful testaments to love I’ve ever read — Pip to Estella in Great Expectations:
“…You are part of my existence, part of myself. You have been in every line I have ever read, since I first came here, the rough common boy whose poor heart you wounded even then. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since—on the river, on the sails of the ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wind, in the woods, in the sea, in the streets. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy that my mind has ever become acquainted with. The stones of which the strongest London buildings are made, are not more real, or more impossible to be displaced by your hands, than your presence and influence have been to me, there and everywhere, and will be. Estella, to the last hour of my life, you cannot choose but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me, part of the evil. But, in this separation I associate you only with the good, and I will faithfully hold you to that always, for you must have done me far more good than harm, let me feel now what sharp distress I may. O God bless you, God forgive you!”
Beginnings hide themselves in endings.