A Toast to the Tricky Times
How good are the good times? They fill our cup with joy and hope and love. They give us respite and room to breathe and delight in the little things. They heal us and soften us, allowing us to look to the future. They inspire us to step up, take risks and try and try again. They make us belly laugh, cheeks hurting with those we love. They remind us of how far we’ve come, of our strengths, and the beauty that is life.
But they are not useful in understanding who we are. They don’t show us with fierce honesty and clarity where we are stuck. They don’t mercilessly unravel us from the good intentioned knots we manage to get ourselves in again and again. They don’t wake us up, heart pounding in those bleak, dark, pre-sun pre-birds morning hours- showing us that dreams can be nightmares and nightmares can feel real and the truth only resides deep, deep within. The don’t strip us bare, leaving us alone, naked, revealing exactly what we are- the stars, the moon, the sky, eternity in our own fleshy dress up costume. This costume - borrowed - for but a nanosecond, that we cling to like no-one's business. They don’t teach us the lessons- the big ones, the hard ones, the oh-so-necessary ones. They don’t humble us, dropping us to our knees- forcing us to drop the judgement, the dogma, and leave us with nothing but empathy and understanding for all those in pain. The ones we used to think were weak or careless. We see it now. We are them. We too can fall from grace. And we see that courage- well- courage does not always look like what we imagined it would.
Those tricky times...ah... the wake up calls. The darkness. The nakedness.
That’s where we meet ourselves.
And what then?
As the rain falls in the dark, in the cold, in the lonely- we are humbled- and there is learning- BUT the good times have served to remind us- the rainbow is coming. The rainbow is coming. And when it does, we will see the colours again- with new eyes. With a bigger heart. Softer. Kinder. Stronger. So my precious one, embrace the humility, feel the rain, weather the storm. For it, like all things, shall pass.
The first time I heard my teacher Manorama speak, she talked about nursing her Mum in her final weeks. In the depths of the experience, she kept asking herself- "What can I learn from this, I could have learnt no other way." And there... right there...there's the juice. That's the question I always come back to in the tricky times.
So here’s a toast to the tricky times. The train wrecks. The losses. The storms of life. Without you, there is no learning. Without you there is no growth. Without you there are no rainbows.
PS. Also- dear storm- how about this for a deal- next time- try not to kick my ass quite so hard, and I'm promise I’ll try to dance in the rain - instead of yelling at the clouds.