Sorrow & Life is messy. Dig deep.

I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.

~ Agatha Christie

Life has never been easy. Nor is it meant to be. It is a matter of being joyous in the face of sorrow. 

~Dirk Benedict

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.

~Lao Tzu

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked. The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Kahlil Gibran

For me, the aim to transcend has proved to be a distraction. Maybe enlightenment is not attained with out of body experiences, or astral travel, or rising above the mundane, profane and banal of everyday life.
Perhaps, as activist Parker Palmer puts it, God is down, not up. Perhaps God has temper and likes Her meat rare. Maybe He hangs out with crazy people and likes a bargain. Perhaps God is waiting to be found in the things we try to avoid.
The hours I’ve logged in the lotus position have expanded my mind, and even sweetened me. Examining cosmological concepts has sharpened my intellect and fueled my charisma. My higher pursuits are decent. But my life always calls me, sometimes wrenches me, back down to the ground. Back to my little home, like a million other homes on earth, filled with minutiae and temperaments and soft tiny experiences of joy.
My greatest lessons have not come from my time in Ashrams or on retreat. Retreats are where I go to process what I learn from everyday living. My greatest growth comes from the black mucky fertile mess of my relationships.
When I do the hard work of loving someone the way they deserve to be loved.
When I go down into the sensuality of the present. When I go down into surprising self-hatred. Down into feeling helpless in the face of Gaza and Sudan and ignorance and toxins and homelessness.

Down to nuzzle a crying friend or baby.
Down into the dirt to lift branches and clear space, and carry boxes into a new little home, like a million other homes on the earth.

Maybe God is something you need to “get into” rather than aspire to. When I retired from rising above my life and just “settled” with being here and being human, something amazing happened: I stopped feeling guilty for being…me. If you’re not ascending you’re stuck with yourself, and that’s much more fun than I ever thought possible.
Life is messy. Dig deep.
-Danielle LaPorte

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