Praise What Is

My life feels blessed in so many ways. I know what it’s like to be fully into something: fully in love, fully trusting, fully invested in a creative process, fully present, all in, self-loving.

I also know the place of contraction, avoidance, not knowing, resistance, inaction, hiding out, confusion, and self-criticism. I am aware of living a life both blessed and burdened perhaps in equal measure.

I’ve always been drawn to contrasts; messy and clean, wild and cultivated, dark and light. And I know very well that one serves to deepen/heighten the experience of the other.

As a teenager, I drew comfort from the wisdom expressed in Kahlil Gibran’s “The Prophet.
“When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”

When I’m in the midst of turmoil I am convinced that I would like nothing more than a reprieve but what if the cost was a tempering of my experience of the light?

I believe that one of the keys to life is to accept all that is. Last night I received a poem to support me on my quest.

It’s a life long journey knowing how to open yourself to what is. I offer this poem to support you along your way.

Praise What Comes
surprising as unplanned kisses, all you haven’t deserved
of days and solitude, your body’s immoderate good health
that lets you work in many kinds of weather. Praise

talk with just about anyone. And quiet intervals, books
that are your food and your hunger; nightfall and walks before
sleep. Praising these for practice, perhaps

you will come at last to praise grief and the wrongs
you never intended. At the end there may be no answers
and only a few very simple questions: did I love,

finish my task in the world? Learn at least one
of the many names of God? At the intersections,
the boundaries where one life began and another

ended, the jumping-off places between fear and
possibility, at the ragged edges of pain,
did I catch the smallest glimpse of the holy?
~ Jeanne Lohmann ~

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