“Life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that’s all that’s happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness–life’s painful aspect–softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody’s eyes because you feel you haven’t got anything to lose–you’re just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We’d be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn’t have enough energy to eat an apple. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.”
― Pema Chödrön, Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living
today gives me pause to reflect on my life a bit. 56 years ago i came into this world with both a zeal and a reluctance. i knew there would be adventures and guesstimated that they would be exhilarating. i also knew that there would be challenges and those challenges may just be the finish of me. the gloriousness and the wretchedness have provided the character and depth to my journey. without experiencing such tremendous loss, without struggling with power and control through addiction, without the surrender of acceptance brought on by the weariness of battle, i would not have the grace that peace of mind brings.
i have no real idea if there is a reason for me to still be here. but here i am. thank you universe for providing this amazing voyage. and thank you to all the friends and otherwise in my life. there is no way that life could be as good without you.