Life’s Vicissitudes — Letting Go

The “Memories” feed in Facebook brings back interesting moments that may otherwise fade. A couple days ago, a status from a few years back jerked me back into one of the most awful days of my life. Reading it, thinking back, and looking at the comments all left me with strong gratitude that things have changed, yet I could go back in my mind and in my feelings and remember how difficult it was to let go at the time and let change happen.

Other events in the last couple days bring the same to mind. All composite things are impermanent — and that means every experience we have in our lives and every aspect of our world, our bodies, and our minds will change. All of it. Things end even when they’re hard. Even when it hurts. However, what I’d like to share in looking back and at looking at other changes from afar is that there’s beauty in that as well. Even in something that seems sad or tragic, it can be a change that lets go of pain, hopelessness, or perceived meaninglessness.

To take a familiar metaphor from mythology — if fate is a thread that is weaved into a story, the end of a fated thing is the cutting of a thread, and that cut may hurt or be perceived as a violent stop — all endings are, in a way. However, it’s only in that end that the tapestry, the full story and beauty, can be completed, and sometimes that’s actually better than a thread that’s stretched so hard and thin that it’s fraying.

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May this provide you perspective to accept the ups and downs of life’s vicissitudes.

Gassho!

Atlas’ Aching Shoulders

Beneath the stress
And fatigue
Lies guilt
And disappointment
“I could do more”
“I haven’t done well enough”
Good intentions
Driving to exhaustion
Why?–A martyr’s
Self-importance

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Giving your best
In the impossible
Ordeals of life
Leaves no room
For guilt or shame
Give and try
Openly, patiently,
Lovingly, and bravely
Do not let success
Or failure
Polish or tarnish
Your ego
True giving
And dedication
Is not about
Ego-fulfillment
The task–Not the burden
On your shoulders
That’s the weight
Of your expectations
And story of “me”