broken: having been damaged and no longer in one piece or in working order; having given up all hope; despairing.
hello joyful friends,
I have to keep writing. I always feel better when I am writing. I haven’t written in a while. I am writing now! What is happening right here, right now. That is all I have. Oh come on, who believes that crapola! But, alas, it is true. After my post about that silly monk who laughed about the broken glass, one of my readers reached out (hey sis!) a little confused. Well, I’m a lot confused so am now reading a book about Buddhism. Pretty deep thinking.
I mean, how can I be happy, or any of us for that matter, in a world that is constantly changing? Where nothing stays the same. Where one day you can eat out at a restaurant, then the next day you can’t. Where one day, my hairdresser has the right to earn a living, and the next day, in a democratic society, a free society, that right is taken away. (yikes, I feel a great big tangent looming!) How can we be happy, how can we find peace and joy, when loss and sorrow are so much a part of our lives?
This is where the story of the broken glass comes in. The Buddhist monk has this glass. It is a beautiful glass and he uses it to hold his water. The light shines through the glass and makes cool patterns, something like that. Buddhism teaches about the concept of impermanence. We Westerners say, “nothing lasts forever”, and we believe it. But we don’t think about it in the same way. The monk understands that one day he will no longer have the glass, so, for today he enjoys the glass. And, the theory goes like this, he’s okay when the glass breaks because he assumed it was already broken when he got it. I mean seriously, that’s it? I just assume this new car I got is already crashed or repossessed when I got it so I am super happy just to have it for today? What kind of crazy talk is that? Thinking like that doesn’t make me happy! No joy!
But the reality is that one day I will not have this new car. Heck, I might decide to go live like a monk and give it away because I don’t need it any more. Or, maybe I’ll lose my job and have to sell the car to make my mortgage payment. The point is that life is always changing. But I dislike change. I have worked hard to eliminate the possibility of change in my life. I have had the same job for 35 years, lived in the same home for 25 years, known my two best friends for the last 20 years and have had the same two cats for almost 10! I mean, if it ain’t broke…
But, how many opportunities have I missed doing the same thing for 30 years? How many jobs have I passed up? Do I really even like what I am doing? Working for an insurance company? Yawn, yawn! I could be a baker, or a florist! Joy, joy! All joking aside, I love my life. I love my home, my kids, my family, my friends, my two cats and my new car!
I fight against change. Now, change seems inevitable to me. No matter how hard I try to fight it, the two kids I love so much are becoming adults and will be moving on, doing for themselves, and I won’t be able to say anything about it. And, I have so much to say! No matter how hard I work out or how well I eat, my health is and will continue to fail. I will experience grief and loss in my life no matter how much do-gooding I take on. Bad shit happens to good people and bad shit has happened and will continue to happen to me. Nothing is permanent. Everything changes.
So, for today I will embrace my darling (just returned from college – AGAIN!) daughter. I will cuddle with my two cute kittens. I will drive my fancy new car. I will embrace today because who knows what tomorrow holds. I will embrace change. What choice do I have? Nothing is permanent. I’ll leave you with a quote from an article I recently read, “Real happiness is in the embrace and appreciation of impermanence. Profound joy and gratitude are born in this awareness, the power and beauty of the flow of now is revealed.”
So my joyful friends, until we meet again.
spark: a trace of a specified quality or feeling
joy: an emotion that lasts only a short time.