I woke up weary. It happens. If I’m not mindful, the day will get lost in “if only”–escape scenarios–unsettled energy, swirling first in one direction then another, a day of chase.
I am reminded of Pema Chodron’s observation regarding Buddhist teachings: they keep telling us we “don’t have a lot of time to waste.”
That we create scenarios of escape–the if only–Chodron says is “the greatest poison.” After all, in escape we exit the life we’ve been given for one we think we can create.
The teachings try to scare us into waking up to how
little time there is and to the preciousness of human birth.
“If only” does have some merit; it is capable of scaring us. And often does. All we need to do is create a scenario—Chodron gives examples of losing one or more of our senses—where life as we knew it is completely and irreparably changed.
Within this context, waking up weary seems a mere wallowing. There is a softening of my heart. Gratitude streams in, so much brighter than any scenario I was creating.
Gratitude pushes open the door of equanimity when a closed mind would rather wrap itself around its own creations. The atmosphere is charged with curiosity. Despair deflates.
Rumi reminds us that expressing gratitude in our lowest moments allows us to discover a “secret path” known to no other.
You can’t see it yet but so many paradises
are at the end of this path.
Curiosity immerses us in the day we have, no longer a captive of “if only.” Escape cannot withstand the light.