“Every day offers you 10,000 reasons to cry,
but if you can find just one reason to laugh,
then you will be alright.”
It’s been easy lately to feel disillusioned and a bit without-hope in the face of the world’s issues. It can all seem so cold and harsh, people can seem cruel and overly self-interested – judgmental and righteous… and – if you’re anything like me, the pain & suffering and despair is palpable and overwhelming to a sensitive heart.
The other side to a sensitive soul is a protective mama-bear mind that begins to try to discern and make sense out of the chaos and unexplainable. We want answers and change, so we choose sides, and so often – after awhile – this can only add to the confusion, sense of separation and ultimate disillusionment we feel in our hearts.
Lately, I have been remembering a sort of ‘explanation’ that has helped me in the past, and I like it told this way*…
One day you walk into a gallery and find yourself captivated by a huge painting, staring intently at the corner in front of you. You think, “Oh, this painting is so very blue.” The next day, you go back, but because of the crowd, you find yourself staring at another corner of the canvas, and you think, “Oh, this painting is so very red.” Imagine the painting is as big as the world and you’ll never be able to see all the parts or understand the complexity of all its layers.
We look at our world and times, and we grasp at semblances of truth, and wild and personal extrapolations… deciding what is good, what is bad. Who is right or wrong, and what THE answer is to our current or greater problems and the dis-ease in humanity. We will never really understand the answer to this.
We are only making our best guesses, from the parts we happen to be looking at, from where we stand.
When people say to stay positive, focus on the good things or follow the light, they’re saying look at the happy corners – the parts that please you most and help your outlook. This IS helpful at times, and certainly a popular approach.
But from what I can tell, there’s more to living consciously in a difficult world than a textbook prescription or knee-jerk reflex toward positivity… and another way that I have come to prefer:
When it is hard to carry on, hard to breathe and process it all, LET GO of the idea that you can even understand if the world is good or evil, destined for great evolutions, or simply ‘doomed.’
Take the stories in, without holding them in. Don’t de-sensitize, but don’t cling or plummet into wide-eyed paralysis either. Breathe out the panic of not knowing, and breathe in, from the source of a greater, vaster mystery. Some of us might call this faith – call it what you will – but breathe it in.
Use kindness, presence and your two hands to change your corner of the world.
Take comfort & joy in the fact that you yourself can help and do “good” things as you know that to be – with intention, focus, presence and action, right where you stand.
Do not give in to despair. This really is all anyone can do, when faced with the overwhelm that threatens to drown us, while still wanting to remain aware, sensitive and somehow part of changing what must be changed – even if a small part.
So, do not give in to despair. Let your relationship with the uncertain, shifting state of the world begin there.
Do this and know that it is enough, dearheart.
* I can’t take credit for that vast-world painting metaphor. I read it somewhere on a forum, took notes of the fella’s wisdom in my journal for myself, and expanded his words with my own… without noting his full name (first name: David). It has comforted me though, and is worth sharing, with gratitude for whoever the original source is and all its variations in being passed down.