Today I was clearing out the small cabinet and drawer in my computer desk (a job long overdue!), and I came across some old files. All of you pack-rats out there will relate when I tell you there were all kinds of things stuffed in the files. Much of it needed to be purged but, as often happens with me, I found some real treasures.
Among the papers, many of them somewhat yellowed from age, I found several quotations that I had written down and saved. The two that I will share with you today talk about the same thing, living life, each one in a slightly different style. The first one has a name attached to it, while the second is anonymous.
“You, with all your flaws, have been chosen for this opportunity to consciously taste life, to know it for what it is, and to make of it what you are able. This gift of a conscious life is grace, even when your life is filled with great difficulty and it may not feel like a gift at the time.”
Actually this quotation was also accompanied by another quotation that I had written further down the page, still by Phillip Moffitt and still about life.
“Your life, with its unique pains and joys, can only be reconciled in your surrender to the truth of your experiences as they arise one moment after another, never fixed, always moving.”
What really stands out for me in these few lines is the invitation to live life in the moment, to be fully present to everyone and everything that you meet on your path. It also reminds us that life “ain’t just a bed of roses”. Actually the roses are there in abundance but to appreciate them fully we have to accept that they have thorns and are sometimes surrounded by weeds. And I am reminded, again, of my friend Tish’s favorite saying: “it is what it is”.
The anonymous quotation that I found among my pack-rat treasures is almost an admonition or an instruction on what we have to do to live life fully.
“It costs so much to be a full human being that there are very few who have the enlightenment or the courage to pay the price ………. One has to abandon altogether the search for security and reach out to the risk of living with both arms ……….one has to embrace the world like a lover……….one has to accept pain as a condition of existence……one has to court doubt and darkness as the cost of knowing…….one needs a will stubborn in conflict, but apt always to total acceptance of every consequence of living and dying.”
I have certainly had my share of pains and difficulties, many self inflicted directly or indirectly. But I have also had a great share of joys and happiness. In my own experience the joys and the happiness have multiplied a thousand fold since I have given up the pursuit of me-me-me-ism and have focused more fully on my relationship to and with the God of my understanding. Which reminds me of the quotation by Paul Ferrini that I cited just over a week ago in Shared Wisdom- Words Both Past & Present.
Certainly I have learned as I live my life that I have to approach each day, sometimes each breath, with as large a measure of humility as courage. Oh, I could choose to bulldoze my way through situations and over people the way I used to. But I prefer the peace of mind that I have today by showing compassion towards everyone I meet. We are all on our own journey and some of us have chosen very difficult paths.