“We think the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”
When we encounter challenging situations in our lives, very often our first reaction is fear — fear of the unknown, fear of loss, fear of suffering. Nonetheless, while these are normal human reactions, many of us also tend to put a smile on our faces and not reveal our worries to those around us, either out of shame or out of a desire to not burden others with our pain.
Then we get busy. We stay busy to avoid our feelings. However, what can be extremely helpful is to engage quiet time, perhaps by meditating. When we do this, we can become aware of our emotions. We can allow fear and grief to surface. We can observe our breath; notice our pulse. What is the body feeling? What are the sensations? If we are silent, observing, we can witness our emotions come and go. We provide space for all feelings; joy, love, and happiness can arise as well. We can come to appreciate that without pain we would not truly appreciate joy. As with nature, always in a state of movement from birth to death, birth to death, we make room for rebirth.
So it is with our lives. Life is not a test to pass or a problem to overcome; life is a series of experiences that, if we embrace them and remain fully present, can allow us to let go of pieces we no longer need and gather new pieces that guide us toward wisdom and compassion. We can give ourselves permission to be aware of pain as well as experience joy, and to remember that with each loss there is gain.