How to Be Sad. How to be Happy.

Image is from my kind, wise soulsister, Liz Lamoreux.

Yesterday was suicide prevention awareness day, which I noted whilst not one, but two sweet friends fight a depression so deep they’ve considered self harm.

Today is 9-11. This morning in the car I discussed Syria with Eden, while remembering that two of the first words she learned to read were “No War” from the neighborhood lawn signs as she went to preschool and our nation went to the middle east. She has experienced peace her whole life, while behind the media curtain we wage war, and souls on both sides of the conflict are damaged and lost.

Today the sun shines and the weather man says “90” and we all dig our fans out of premature storage. We strap the rubber boats to the car, dreaming of an after school rush to the lake for one last dip. We find the sunscreen.

It’s hard not to be joyful in Seattle on a day like this. It’s hard to tap into the sorrow that surrounds us.

So I don’t. I don’t force myself to experience pain when there is a moment of joy. The pain will come in when it comes, too often and too deep.

I do however, get into my comfortable seated position. I cross my legs and rest my palms. I breathe in destruction and breath out creation. I inhale sorrow and exhale compassion. I invite myself to live on both sides of the  coin.

I am not much of a mystic, and at meditation I am a novice forever-and-yet. But increasingly I am convinced of this:

The only way for me to be present to this life – the ebb and the flow of it, the hot and the cold of it—is to breathe in sorrow, breathe out love.

click to share the good word.

We can write letters, and hold up signs, and sing songs from the 70’s. (And we should.)
We can say prayers, and beg God, and hope for miracles. (And we do.)
And….

And we can train our mind-body-soul to be present to this world we live in. This real world, right here and right now. With all of it’s beauty and all of it’s sorrow.

So we can laugh and sail boats.
So we can hold hands and cry.
So we don’t spend all our power sustaining a lie.
So we don’t miss a moment.

Yes. Let’s do that.

Will you breathe with me?

(Amen? Amen.)


Kimberley McGill September 11, 2013 at 9:34 am

Yes. Yes I will.

(My main practice is Tonglen, when I first heard of it I thought NO WAY!, but now it has made all the difference in being present to it all)

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