You take it all in. You let the pain of the world touch your heart and you turn it into compassion. ~Gyalwa Karmapa
I am up for my 5th Year Review as Associate Dean, so I’ve done quite a bit of reflecting over the last few weeks. A lot has happened. We’ve seen big budget cuts, new colleagues join us, colleagues leave, programs developed, etc. It’s been a mixture of good and bad. But, overall we have continued to move forward. In many ways, despite the cuts, we are in a better place. I’ve also reflected on the life challenges that we have faced. Cancer, death, sickness, “gunbrellaman,” earthquake, storms…it’s a long messy list.
Yesterday, I was talking with a friend who has experienced the unimaginable. As he reflected, he talked about how he has been candid with his challenge and is open to talking with anyone and everyone that wants to talk. He has found that the more he talks; the more he learns about the messiness of what other have been through. The sorrow, the pain, the anguish, and the struggle. It’s messy. But, somehow people survive and it is changing the way he sees the world.
As I reflect on my own personal messiness, I can see that each one changed me. Each made me more aware. It seems that each time I found myself in the messiness of life (the mud) if I allowed myself to be in the mud, truly experience the mud, I emerged a better person.
What difficulty are you facing? Allow yourself to embrace the difficulty and play in the mud. Then look beyond yourself and see how it has changed how you see the world.
Grace & Peace!