I've been slowly working my way through the book When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron. She's been an inspiration to many for a long time, and I'm no exception. It's from her wisdom I bring you today's mantra,
"You are the sky. Everything else— it's just the weather."
For me, this quote conjures up a more profound sense of being. Sometimes the clouds roll in, or even a thunderstorm. We can resist the 'bad weather,' or wait just a little longer and hold on as the pattern passes. Then, the sun will shine again. And the cycle repeats.
Like the sky, our destiny and future seemingly hold limitless bounds. We are more significant than our circumstances and our history. We are often taught (overtly and covertly) to seek happiness as an aim. We cannot cope when we are not experiencing happiness. The truth is that happiness is just the shiny trophy of all of our many emotions. And the irony is that the more we chase and fight to hold on to the prize of being happy, the more unrest and disappointment we encounter. Accepting that the good feelings come and go, floating in and out of our daily lives like the clouds can help us ground in the truth, and the grand irony is that the contentment of being present with the feelings at the moment brings more peace.
I continue to practice accepting where I am and who I am in the given moment. I'm not saying it's easy. It's hard for me to accept things from the past (depressive thoughts) and not worry about the future (anxious thoughts), though I'll continue to try. Right now, I'm writing to you and breathing, and that is ample. It will change like the weather, and then I get to keep practicing.
Directly from Pema, "We think that the point is to pass the test or overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don't really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It's just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy."