Monday, April 26, 2010

Come in, we're open

Life is suffering. That's the basecamp of Buddhism and really any world religion or life response for recognizing shit we've all got to wrestle with.

We lose loved ones. We get sick or watch family and friends get sick. Our heart breaks when we hold our daughter or son as they cry from a fall or hurt feelings or being scared. We get divorced or have a falling out. We get worked over physically or emotionally. And if you are like me sometimes you just can't help asking, "What the fu**??"

We create or adapt our armor to protect us from or help us deal with suffering. A helmet like, 'everything happens for a reason.' A shield like, 'if it doesn't kill us it makes us stronger.' Chain mail like, 'this too shall pass.' And I think all these things are true.

But none of them explain suffering. None of them get at they why? or name it understandable. At base, it's just there, whether we build our lives to try to hide that fact or are able to have it out in the open.

Suffering sucks. And yet it's our response to suffering that defines who we are, how we live and how we love. It's likely that if we suppress or deny suffering that we do the same for our capacity to love.

I am not a sage. I hold no answers and make no claims to. But being open seems a better way to live than being closed. What sign we hang on our door determines who or what will come into our lives.

When I am open, grief can flow out when overfilled and love can enter to fill the room. The opposite is also true, but if I don't cling too tightly to grief it can leave again, making room for love.


Joel Shilliday said...

Bastage. Your blog is required reading. Just love it man.
We gots lots of similar thoughts, you take the time to puttem down, and down like milk after chocolate.

Michael Valliant said...

Why thank you, sir. That is perhaps the finest compliment referencing Johnny Dangerously I can think of ;)

Elizabeth Bastos said...

A helmet like, 'everything happens for a reason.' A shield like, 'if it doesn't kill us it makes us stronger.' < -- awesome superhero armor, Mike!

You might like this new anthology edited by Kevin Young, The Art of Losing.