Life gets a little odd sometimes. Just when you have come to terms with the way things are working out, it gets turned on its head and a myriad possibilities open before you. Or you could say instead, that just when life is looking settled and predictable, suddenly nothing is familiar and you don’t know what is coming next.
Both are true. It all depends on how you look at life. Is your glass half empty or half full? Do you see the emptiness as full of sparkling possibility, a space just waiting to be filled? Or as something forever gone and worthy of grief?
Most of us will lean towards one view or the other… but things are not, as they say, always set in stone. The most negative of pessimists will sometimes see the blaze of hope, while the most optimistic will have a down day.
I had been up early. Way too early considering it had been a late night again. Five o’clock had seen me shivering in the sodden fields with the dog. I couldn’t sleep. While Ani chased shadows my thoughts were a little glum. Tiredness does that sometimes. It was no better by the time we got home, cold, damp, muddy and distinctly miserable. A review of any situation, in that state of mind, will produce little but further reasons to feel sorry for yourself. Wonderful possibilities may be dangled tantalisingly just beyond your reach and the bite of sharp necessity will have its teeth firmly in the cheeks of your nether regions. And if you think that’s a sorry picture, you should see the rabbit of negative euphoria gnawing at your heels…..
“Sometimes our light goes out, but is blown again into instant flame by an encounter with another human being.” ― Albert Schweitzer
The phone rang. It was a call from another unhappy bunny… rabbits, of course, being well known for their propensity for breeding. We discussed the relationship between fear and hope; how hope can seem like the Holy Grail perched on a mountain top and how, when you stand in the foothills, you have no idea if you will make it to the summit. We talked of how the fear of failure is exponential to that vision of hope. And of course, how it is so much better to see that hope, that brilliant shard of possibility, than to wallow, blind in the darkness.
Suddenly, the possibilities seemed a little brighter than the problems.
The phone rang again. Laughter ensued. Perspective was restored and the night shadows banished for both of us. Yes, the same problems exist and need to be faced and dealt with. But just look at the adventure that could be! Who knows what could be found on the way up the mountain? The possibilities of the journey are endless and exciting.
The inbox had delivered an unexpected treat that had me smiling a few moments later and the lights, went on again inside. My thoughts turned to something I had read recently. The Sufi philosophy speaks, I think, deeply to most of us if we listen. The imagery of love speaks of the journey of the soul into awareness, of the journey of the heart and mind and body into living with passion. I was reminded that without the contrast we would not see the joy, without the shadows that haunt us there would be no fierce embracing of Light. When things are about to change and move forward, the old has to be left behind and that leaving can have us feeling as if we are being torn apart. But no birth is painless, no beginning comes without an ending of a phase of life. From a single point in time we can either look back at what might have been and grieve for the losses, or we can walk forward into adventure and live it with passion.
“When a true lover appears calamities blaze up. I like a heart that can stir the seven seas fearlessly withstanding the waves. I like a lover with a fiery heart burning even hell to ashes. I like a heart that can wrap the universe around its hand, catching the eternal light hanging it like an icicle. I like a lover with a heart as large as the world who fights like a lion, not only with others but with himself, a lover who shatters the veils of all hearts with the blazing light of Truth.” – Rumi