Life is hard.
Sure, there are joyful times, magical moments and happy, fun, carefree phases to enjoy.
But no amount of new-age positive-thinking can outshine the grit that lies just below the surface.
The grit, the pain, the grief, death, learning and loss that accompany the highlights of love, tenderness and togetherness are all natural, expected and normal.
Our media tries to tell us otherwise.
The ‘happily ever after’ is sold with every home loan, haircut and hamburger. Our fears of loss, pain and death are raised and quickly quelled by insurance promises and their accompanying premiums. Our boredom and dissatisfaction with our own life is fed, fuelled and refocused on ‘reality’ TV shows, incessant info-mercials and addiction to improvement – to buying more, doing more, having more, being more.
The voices around us are harsh and critical.
They tell us we are not enough, that we need to be better, do better. And whether we listen actively or not, their pervasiveness becomes a soundtrack, a consistent inner conversation of constant critiquing and cruel comparison.
Competitiveness arises, then hyper-vigilance, stress, more criticism, more trying, exhaustion and at times, resultant despair.
These are sadly becoming natural by-products of our life.
Especially as we look out at our world and see the destruction of our beautiful planet, the imbalance and insensitivity of our ‘leaders’ and the disparity between those who continue to have and those who have not.
We are bombarded with opinions and reasons not to believe in or listen to ourselves.
We are so easily offended by others that our angry responses continue the chain reaction of retaliation and polarisation.
We forget we have a choice to turn it off, walk away and turn with tenderness, within.
When we reach our limit of outer chaos we also reach the threshold of our inner quiet – the safe and sacred space we all have and hold within our hearts.
We can choose to leave our worldly shoes and coats at the door. We can drop the daily amour and the weapons that we wield and return to the sanctuary of own sweet selves.
We can pause. We can breathe.
We can move with reverence and tenderness towards our hearts.
We can step gently away from the fray and listen for our own wisdom, knowledge and truth.
Our turning away becomes a deep tuning in.
Here we can listen and be lead by our intuition.
Here we can again find inspiration, ideas and the beauty of our imagination.
Here we can find a pace that is true for us and some peace to carry back out into the world to share with others.
We cannot escape life’s hardships and pain, but we can find ways to live with them, to accept them and ourselves.
We can do so, gently….
she touches the wound
becomes friends with the scars
accepts the pain of her past
she learns to forgive herself
for what she didn’t know
for all the things she did
and did not do
she comes home
re-members her heart and soul
(C) Chandu Bickford
Artist credit – Tomasz Alen Kopera