Pema Chodron conveys that ” life is glorious, but life is also wretched. It is both. Appreciating the gloriousness inspires us, encourages us, cheers us up, gives us a bigger perspective, energizes us. We feel connected. But if that’s all that’s happening, we get arrogant and start to look down on others, and there is a sense of making ourselves a big deal and being really serious about it, wanting it to be like that forever. The gloriousness becomes tinged by craving and addiction. On the other hand, wretchedness–life’s painful aspect–softens us up considerably. Knowing pain is a very important ingredient of being there for another person. When you are feeling a lot of grief, you can look right into somebody’s eyes because you feel you haven’t got anything to lose–you’re just there. The wretchedness humbles us and softens us, but if we were only wretched, we would all just go down the tubes. We’d be so depressed, discouraged, and hopeless that we wouldn’t have enough energy to eat an apple. Gloriousness and wretchedness need each other. One inspires us, the other softens us. They go together.”
While reading this, Pema’s sensitive words jumped off the page directly into my heart, a heart that has wallowed in the dark depths of grief, and can still occasionally reach into that dark place at times. What these words give to me, and I hope to others, is the possibility and the knowing that we will all experience both the glorious and the wretched in our lives, and that they work together for the benefit of our soul. Now, if you are sitting in either place and not in a state of balance, it might be hard to accept this fact. If you are in a state of pure glory you may think why would you ever want to experience the wretched? If you are deep into the darkness you may not feel you have the will or energy to lift yourself toward the light.
Our soul came into this universe for a purpose, and that is to shine our divine light. We have work to do in this crazy mixed up world, and by shining our light brightly we can begin to heal not only ourselves, but the universe. While sitting at the bottom of the well of grief and sorrow, I have felt the entire universe conspire to snuff my soul out, but I saw a glimmer of the light and I went towards it. My purpose is to heal not only myself, but to assist others along their journey. Wherever you are sitting at this moment, I wish you the gift of Pema’s words so that you might find balance. Love to all, harm to no one is my wish for the universe and that we might all find our place of balance.
Every moment of light and dark is a miracle ~ Walt Whitman