Sometimes I think I make it too simple. I see all people struggling to ease their own suffering. Some do it in ways that just make things worse - spending, drinking, winning - and some know the ways that work: simple attentiveness. The practices of generosity and compassion and understanding, like that. As if by magic, but it isn't magic, the actions that relieve our own suffering also give a little relief to the sufferings of the world.
It's not just me - it actually is simple. That relief is found in one's own intentional actions. No one can give it to you. Learning that might fall in the category of wisdom, hard-earned in my own case. I tried everything before I finally tried sitting down to do nothing but be with myself. My life was like an epic fairy tale of a young person who goes forth looking for the precious jewel under every rock. Battling major forces, enduring great hardship. And here it was all along, inside me once I settled down. If I wrote it, I'd call it, The Princess who Went Back Home. Empty-handed. And here it was, contentment, sitting by the fire waiting for me.
[image: our magnolia against a backdrop of petals fallen to the brick patio. Perhaps fortunately, I have not yet learned to use Photoshop.]