Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Truest Thing I Know

I know lots of important things, like Do the most important thing first  and There's always time for what's really important.  But the most important thing I've learned this last decade or so can be phrased in a piece of common folk wisdom:
It's always something.
Therefore, I make a point of enjoying the gaps between those somethings.

Buddhists may be noting already that this is a rephrase of what is called The First Noble Truth that Shakyamuni Buddha realized as he sat under the evening star:  Life is hard.  The word is dukkha, and I've most often seen it translated as suffering, anxiety, stress.  There are good reasons human life is hard.  All good things pass.  We pass, and we know we will.  We lose loved ones, friends, beloved pets, our health and vitality, our able-bodiedness, even our ability to think and recognize our world - and we know we might.  I know I probably haven't touched on the problems you and I have seen in our lives, and that you may be experiencing right now.

When I'm in a balanced mood I accept all that with the sort of equanimity with which we grandmothers sometimes say,  It's always something. (sigh)  If you can't accept this fact of life's difficulty emotionally, you can work on understanding that it is true.  Whether you like it or not.  And yet, this moment is safe.

Here I'd like to mention that these thoughts are growing out of me having a very good day.  A nice, quiet day following a lot of work yesterday, and some real visible progress on the major clean-this-house project, working right along with Tom, no conflicts.  I have seen enough suffering in life to realize the abiding pleasure of an agreeable relationship.  Today it is hot outside and the air quality bad, but we have electricity back, and our air-conditioner and Hepa filter are doing a good job in here.  My back doesn't hurt too much, and in a minute I'm going to prop up on a heating pad that works wonders for me.

I do live in an emotional hurricane zone, as Readers know.  I have a bipolar-ordered mind.  Right now I am neither depressed nor anxious-angry-manic, just right in that lovely middle.  Creative but not driven.  Not sick; maybe I've found the key steps to avoiding UTIs, maybe I can keep avoiding them. My history tells me those unlovely mood states will return and everything turn sludgy and gray, though I don't want to believe it.  I know it is my nature to get sick this way, that way; illness cannot be avoided (I know The Five Remembrances. which are at the bottom of this blog, by heart).

But today I can look around and run the mental gratitude journal.  And am not even arguing with the koan I have found most difficult of all:  Every day's a good day.  There it is, on the right, in calligraphy.  I am working on accepting that, preparing to see the shades of gray on those not-so-easy days.

No comments:

Post a Comment